Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys have filed for a mistrial in a civil fraud case scrutinizing his family real estate company’s practices, claiming bias from the presiding judge and his law clerk. Trump’s legal team asserts that Judge Arthur Engoron and clerk Allison Greenfield’s actions have compromised the impartiality of the trial, with the judge having shared news articles critical of Trump in a newsletter and the clerk accused of engaging in “impermissible partisan activity”.
In a 30-page motion, the defense argues that Engoron’s and Greenfield’s conduct threatens the defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary, pointing to a gag order imposed by the judge as an unconstitutional act that aims to protect his clerk from public scrutiny. This follows instances where Trump shared on social media a photo of the clerk with Senator Chuck Schumer, leading to the imposition of the gag order, which was later expanded to include Trump’s sons.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office is leading the prosecution, has dismissed Trump’s motion as an attempt to evade the substance of the case, asserting that the truth will prevail despite Trump’s defense strategies. The case, which accuses the Trump Organization of inflating property values for better financing terms, has already seen Trump and his company found liable for fraud, with significant potential consequences for Trump’s business empire.
As the case unfolds, Trump’s stance remains defiant, dismissing the proceedings as “election interference” and labeling the legal actors involved as biased against him. With the trial ongoing, the motion for a mistrial adds another layer to the legal battles Trump faces, even as he eyes a return to the political arena.