Since 2 October 2023, former President Donald Trump has been on trial in New York city. Trump is accused of committing fraud against banks and insurers in order to get favourable loans. One of the main points of the prosecution is that Trump and the Trump Organisation have inflated the value of his assets.
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Attorney General (AG) Jessica James is asking for penalties of at least $250 million. Trump could also lose his business licence in the state of New York. This trial has not gone very well for Trump and it has seen many ups and downs.
On Wednesday 15 November Trump’s team filed a motion for mistrial.
Trump’s motion for mistrialattacks law clerk… again
The motion was filed on Wednesday 15 November and is based on the belief that Judge Engoron is biassed. Moreover, Newsweek reports that the motion filed also refers to the Judge’s principal clerk Alison Greenfield.
The annoyance of Trump and his team towards Greenfield has grown since the beginning of the trial. Indeed, on 3 October, Trump received his first limited gag order from Engoron after he shared a picture of Greenfield with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump’s post also alleged that Greenfield and Schumer were in a relationship.
Even though Trump swiftly deleted the inflammatory post from Truth Social, he failed to do so on his website which was reprimanded by a fine from Judge Engoron. The attacks on Greenfield didn’t subside. While Trump stopped independently perpetrating them, his team carried on in court. That led to the limited gag order being extended to them.
However that gag order doesn’t apply to filed submissions which is why Greenfield is named 8 timesand her title, principal law clerk, is mentioned 44 times. In the motion, one can read:
This appearance of bias threatens both Defendants rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution (...)
(...) Greenfield’s 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.
They have also accused Greenfield of ‘co-judging’ with Engoron and have claimed that ‘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’.
Attorney General likely to shut Trump’s demand down
Responding to Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss this trial, AG Jessica James has challenged the validity of it. She said:
Once again, Donald Trump is trying to dismiss the truth and the facts, but the numbers and evidence don't lie
Trump is now being held accountable for the years of fraud he committed and the incredible ways he lied to enrich himself and his family. He can keep trying to distract from his fraud, but the truth always comes out.
This statement, though not her official and legal response to the motion, does suggest that there are limited chances for her lawyers to agree to a mistrial. The legal response should come today, Thursday 16 November.
Daily Beast: Donald's Desperate Demand: Trump Files for Mistrial in New York Bank Fraud Case
Newsweek: Letitia James Hits Back at Donald Trump's Mistrial Attempt