President Donald Trump is requesting a mistrial in the Democrats’ civil “fraud” case against him in New York. On Wednesday, Trump’s legal team pointed to “tangible and overwhelming” evidence of bias.
In a 30-page motion, Trump alleges that Judge Arthur Engoron participated in extrajudicial activities, including making public comments during the trial and improperly “co-judging” with his law clerk Allison Greenfield. Trump’s lawyers highlight Greenfield’s involvement in “extensive, public partisan activities.”
Trump also criticized the gag orders issued by Engoron, which prevent Trump and others from publicly discussing his staff members, suggesting that these orders were imposed to prevent these matters 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
In early October, Engoron implemented a gag order on Trump following a Truth Social post in which Trump referred to Greenfield as the “girlfriend” of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
As a consequence of violating the order, the judge imposed fines of $5,000 and $10,000.
“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 points out, contributed more than “$3,000 to Democrat candidates and organizations in 2022 and over $900 in 2023,” surpassing the $500 limit permitted for court staff in a single year.
Trump raised concerns about Engoron allowing her to “preside on the bench with him to his right-hand side” during all proceedings.
Additionally, Trump alleged that Engoron’s public sharing of links to articles “disparaging parties and counsel” on the Wheatley School newsletter he manages violates the Code of Judicial Conduct’s prohibition on publicly commenting about a pending case.
During testimony on the witness stand earlier this month, Trump criticized the case as a “political witch hunt” and denounced Engoron’s earlier ruling that he had deceived banks and insurance companies by inflating the value of his net worth as “fraudulent.”
The demand for a mistrial comes in the wake of a video showing Democrat New York Attorney General Letitia James smirking as Don Trump Jr. appeared in court.
President Trump responded strongly to the video, accusing James and her allies of “election interference.”