Former President Donald Trump has filed a motion for a mistrial in the ongoing civil fraud case in New York, citing alleged bias from the presiding Judge Arthur Engoron. [Source]
Trump’s legal team contends that the judge and his clerk have subjected the defendants to “tangible and overwhelming” bias. “The Court has abrogated its constitutional responsibility to ensure each Defendant, including President Trump, receives a fair trial free from even the appearance of impropriety and impartiality,” Trump’s attorneys stated in the filing.
The high-stakes trial, which began on October 2 and is expected to continue until mid-December, accuses Trump, his two sons, and their company of perpetrating a decade-long fraud, benefiting by at least $250 million from inflated property valuations and net worth statements to banks and insurers. [Source]
Trump’s attorneys have repeatedly accused Judge Engoron, a Democrat appointed by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of favoring New York Attorney General Letitia James. “Left unchecked, the introduction of such demonstrable pro-Attorney General and anti-Trump/big real estate bias into a case of worldwide interest…impugns the integrity of the entire system,” the motion read.
In a particularly tense courtroom moment, Trump himself lashed out at Judge Engoron, calling him a “fraud” on the witness stand. The motion for mistrial also accuses Engoron’s law clerk, Allison Greenfield, of bias, citing numerous heated exchanges and her role in “co-judging” the case.
Notably, Trump and his campaign have incurred fines totaling $15,000 for violating a limited gag order related to derogatory social media posts about Greenfield. [Source]
In response to the allegations of bias, a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office stated, “Once again, Donald Trump is trying to dismiss the truth and the facts, but the numbers and evidence don’t lie.”
Despite initial indications from Judge Engoron that he might deny the mistrial request, the defense’s presentation, including testimonies from Donald Trump Jr., continues. The trial is currently in its seventh week, with the judge briefly acknowledging the mistrial request and the prosecution expected to respond shortly.
In court, the Trump legal team has been focusing on the testimony of forensic accountant Jason Flemmons. Flemmons acknowledged disclosures in Trump’s financial statements regarding departures from generally accepted accounting principles, bolstering the defense’s argument of transparency and proper advisory to banks and insurers for their own due diligence.
This story is still developing…