OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
4:23 PM – Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Donald Trump and his co-defendants have petitioned a judge for a mistrial in the $250 million civil business fraud case that jeopardizes the former president’s business empire and reputation.
In a court filing Wednesday, attorneys for Trump contended that “the evidence of apparent and actual bias” in the case is “tangible and overwhelming.”
The 30-page filing in Manhattan Supreme Court specifically criticized the presiding judge, Arthur Engoron, and his principal law clerk. Trump’s attorney’s maintain that Engoron’s conduct “tainted these proceedings” and that only a mistrial could salvage the integrity of the legal process.
The focus on the clerk arose after Engoron prohibited defense attorneys from mentioning his staff, citing “threats and harassment” that were directed at his office since the trial’s commencement last month.
In the court filing, Trump’s defense lawyers accused Engoron and his clerk of creating an “appearance of impropriety” and fostering a public perception of bias. They pointed to Engoron’s sharing of articles in his alumni newsletter, which they deemed “disparaging” to the defendants.
They also accused the clerk of engaging in “partisan activities,” citing her contributions to Democratic groups that they say are supporting James, the attorney general.
Trump, already under a gag order imposed by Engoron for online attacks against the law clerk, faces accusations from New York Attorney General Letitia James of fraudulent inflation of his net worth for financial gains.
James seeks approximately $250 million in damages and aims to permanently bar Trump and his sons from managing a New York business.
Engoron, before the trial began, had found the defendants liable for fraudulently misstating property values. Although he ordered the cancellation of the defendants’ business certificates, an appeals court temporarily stayed this action.
Additional verdicts in the trial, without a jury, will determine penalties and resolve other claims in James’ lawsuit.
Despite previous unsuccessful attempts to halt or dismiss the case, Trump’s lawyers continue to seek a mistrial, citing concerns regarding fairness of the proceedings.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts