Trump’s legal team requested a mistrial in the civil business fraud case in New York.
The Wednesday motion claims that the trial judge and his principal law clerk’s purported bias against Trump has “tainted” the case.
“This appearance of bias threatens both Defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution,” Trump’s counsel wrote in the 30-page motion, according to The Hill.
Trump’s counsel cited posts made by Judge Arthur Engoron to a Wheatley School alumni page, which the judge appears to run. Trump’s team claims there are references to the case and individuals involved with it, including Trump, his son Eric Trump, and Trump attorney Alina Habba.
The motion cited the New York code reading that “a judge shall not make any public comment about a pending or impending proceeding in any court within the United States or its territories.”
The former president’s legal team also addressed their concerns with Engoron’s principal law clerk, asserting that the clerk has acted throughout the trial as a “co-judge,” conferring with Engoron via whispers or written notes before most orders have been issued.
“The principal law clerk is given unprecedented and inappropriate latitude,” Trump’s counsel wrote.
The filing also claimed that the clerk has made “partisan political contributions in excess of strict limits,” including to groups that oppose Trump and support New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case accuses Trump, his two adult sons, the Trump Organization, and top executives of falsely inflating the values of Trump’s real estate properties and other assets in order to get tax benefits and better loan terms.
James seeks around $250 million in damages, and she wants to bar Trump and his co-defendants from running another business in New York.
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