Trump Asks 'Biased' Judge to Grant Mistrial in Fraud Case

Judge Arthur Engoron is unlikely to side with the former president
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2023 10:55 AM CST
Trump Wants 'Biased' Judge to Grant Mistrial in Fraud Case
Then-President Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking in the East Room of the White House on Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Seven weeks into his civil fraud case, Donald Trump is seeking a mistrial. The former president, sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, the Trump Organization, and the company's top executives on Wednesday submitted a 30-page filing in Manhattan Supreme Court that argued the conduct of presiding Judge Arthur Engoron and his principal law clerk has "tainted these proceedings" and that "only the grant of a mistrial can salvage what is left of the rule of law." They claim "the evidence of apparent and actual bias" in the case is "tangible and overwhelming," per CNBC.

Reuters and the Daily Beast offer specifics on the alleged bias, reporting the filing accused Engoron of posting links to articles "disparaging" Trump and others to an alumni newsletter of the Long Island high school he attended. It also claims Engoron has allowed law clerk Allison Greenfield to participate in the case to an inappropriate degree. "Indeed, before the Court rules on most issues, the Court either pauses to consult with her on the bench or receives from her contemporaneous written notes," reads the motion. "While a Justice of the Court no doubt has ample discretion to consult with his or her Law Secretaries, this unprecedented arrangement exceeds the outer limits of such discretion."

The Daily Beast notes that while the "prominent fashion" in which the two work together is atypical, "few in the public realize that clerks often do the bulk of the legal research and draft court orders that are eventually edited and signed by their judges." Reuters sees the chances that Engoron will declare a mistrial as low, "given his earlier fraud findings and defense of his law clerk's conduct." CNN echoes that, noting that Engoron had initially advised Trump's attorney not to file the motion. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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