President Donald Trump is demanding a mistrial in the Democrats’ civil “fraud” case against him in New York.
On Wednesday, Trump’s legal team cited “tangible and overwhelming” evidence of bias.
Trump’s 30-page motion alleges that Judge Arthur Engoron engaged in extrajudicial activities.
This includes “publically commenting” in the trial and impermissibly “co-judging” with his law clerk Allison Greenfield.
Greenfield is involved with “extensive, public partisan activities,” Trump’s lawyers note.
He also attacked the gag orders Engoron issued barring Trump and other parties from speaking publicly about members of his staff as being imposed to prevent these issues from “becoming public.”
“Such evidence, coupled with an unprecedented departure from standard judicial procedure, has tainted these proceedings and a mistrial is warranted,” his lawyers said.
“Specifically, the Court’s own conduct, coupled with the Principal Law Clerk, Allison Greenfield’s (‘Principal Law Clerk’) unprecedented role in the trial and extensive, public partisan activities, would cause even a casual observer to question the Court’s partiality.”
“Thus, only the grant of a mistrial can salvage what is left of the rule of law,” the motion continues.
NEW: Motion for Mistrial in Letitia James’ fraudulent civil case against President Trump
“There can be no doubt of the public perception of bias in this case…only the grant of a mistrial can salvage what is left of the rule of law.” pic.twitter.com/qJ3jhQqXcc
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) November 15, 2023
Engoron imposed a gag order on Trump in early October after he made a Truth Social post referencing Greenfield.
In the post, Trump described Greenfield as Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) “girlfriend.”
The judge subsequently imposed $5,000 and $10,000 fines for violations of the order.
“The gag orders and the enforcement thereof reveal the Court has christened itself camera stellata: judge, jury, and executioner, proceeding sua sponte to act against President Trump in violation of the Constitution, the Judiciary Law, and First Department rules,” Trump’s lawyers argue.
“This Star Chamber approach is particularly indefensible when the gag orders actually shield the Court itself from public criticism for perceived bias —one of the most fundamental rights under the First Amendment.”
Greenfield, he notes, donated more than “3,000 to Democrat candidates and organizations in 2022 and over $900 in 2023,” which is above the $500 permitted for court staff in a single year.
He took issue with Engoron allowing her to “preside on the bench with him to his right-hand side” during all proceedings.
Trump also alleged that Engoron’s public posting of links to articles “disparaging parties and counsel” on the Wheatley School newsletter he maintains violates the Code of Judicial Conduct’s prohibition on commenting publicly about a pending case.
While testifying on the witness stand earlier this month, Trump slammed the case as a “political witch hunt” and derided Engoron’s earlier ruling that he had deceived banks and insurance companies by inflating the value of his net worth as “fraudulent.”
The call comes after a video emerged of Democrat New York Attorney General Letitia James smirking as Don Trump Jr. appeared in court.
President Trump issued a fiery response to the video, accusing James and her allies of “election interference.”