A Manhattan judge said Friday that Donald Trump’s attempt to get a mistrial in his $250 million civil fraud case is “completely without merit” and rejected arguments that the jurist’s law clerk is co-judging.
Trump, 77, filed a mistrial motion on Wednesday, alleging that there was “overwhelming” bias by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron in his fraud case and that the Trump’s top law clerk judge, Allison Greenfield, has had undue influence on the process.
Greenfield has been seen whispering in the judge’s ear and passing him notes throughout the seven weeks of the trial so far.
“As I have made clear throughout this trial, my decisions are mine and mine alone. There is absolutely no ‘co-judging’ at play,” Engoron wrote in a decision Friday.
The former president’s lawyers claimed that the fact that Engoron submitted articles about the case in a university newsletter on multiple occasions and that Greenfield made political contributions to Democratic groups (including those supporting New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is prosecuting the case) was inadequate and additional evidence of the couple’s bias against Trump.
Donald Trump lost a motion to mistrial after a judge ruled his reasoning was “completely baseless.” via REUTERS Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron rejected Donald Trump’s bid to mistrial in the former president’s $250 million fraud case.REUTERS
But Engoron responded that he was not involved in writing the news articles he sent in an email newsletter. He noted that he was a co-founder of the Wheatley School Alumni Association and said it is “rewarding” for him to help other students stay “connected and informed” with emails.
“None of this has anything to do with, much less interfere with, my fairly, impartially and professionally presiding over the present dispute, which I have been doing for more than three years, and which I intend to do until its resolution. conclusion,” he said in his ruling.
Engoron said Trump’s arguments that Greenfield’s political contributions exceeded the legal limit were “a red herring.”
Trump filed a motion to mistrial on Wednesday, claiming the judge was overwhelmingly biased against him.via REUTERS
Since Greenfield was running for judicial office at the time, most of the money went toward the cost of tickets to attend political functions, which can be subtracted from his donations and puts contributions “well below the annual limit.” ethical and legal allowed.” ” Engoron said.
As for Engoron’s alleged biased rulings throughout the trial, the judge said the allegations were also “baseless,” adding, “I stand by each and every ruling, and they speak for themselves.”
Trump lawyer Alina Habba criticized Friday’s ruling but said it was not a surprise.
Trump has claimed that the judge’s law clerk has unfair influence over the trial, but the jurist said Friday that all of his decisions are his.REUTERS
“As expected, today the court refused to take responsibility for its failure to preside over this case impartially and impartially,” Habba said. “We, however, are not intimidated and will continue to fight for our clients’ right to a fair trial.”
The issue of Greenfield has been raised repeatedly during the trial, and Trump even published posts about the law clerk, prompting Engoron to issue a limited gag order barring Trump and his lawyers from speaking about his judicial staff in public.
Engoron also fined Trump $15,000, saying he violated the order twice. Trump is in the process of appealing the fine.
On Thursday, an appeals judge temporarily lifted the gag order, finding it could be an infringement on Trump’s constitutional right to free speech, a fact that Trump says is even more pressing given that he is the favorite Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election.