The legal team for former President Donald Trump called for a mistrial in the ongoing civil case revolving around the real estate giant’s business empire. The effort comes after Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called for legal penalties against the judge presiding over the case.
The former president’s attorneys wrote that the “evidence of apparent and actual bias is tangible and overwhelming.”
The legal filing from Wednesday also argued that such perceived bias and an “unprecedented departure from standard judicial procedure, has tainted these proceedings and a mistrial is warranted.”
Trump's lawyers want a mistrial in his New York civil fraud case. They claim the judge is biased https://t.co/0y2wfpex2r
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 16, 2023
The former president’s lawyers argued that Judge Arthur Engoron had shown bias against the defendant in part due to a gag order. The decision limited Trump’s ability to speak about the court’s staff.
The former president received the order after posting a photo of law clerk Allison Greenfield with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stating that she was “running the case.” Engoron fined Trump $15,000 following the decision for allegedly violating the order.
Trump, for his part, argued that both Engoron and Greenfield have shown bias, including the clerk’s donation to left-wing causes.
According to Trump’s legal team, such efforts “at a minimum” increased fears of “co-judging” by Greenfield, an “unelected staff member.”
The judge delayed a decision on the motion.
The mistrial motion came after Stefanik filed an ethics complaint against Engoron last week.
The New York Republican accused the judge of having “entered summary judgment against the defendant before the trial even began, without witnesses, other evidence and cross-examination.”
Stefanik also cited the gag order by the judge, stating that “Engoron has made it crystal clear h doesn’t care what the defendant or his attorneys have to say.”
The representative accused the judge and the court staff of being partisan Democrats and donating to political causes.
Stefanik wrote that the judge was not honoring Trump’s legal rights and that Engoron’s “bizarre behavior has no place in our judicial system.”