New York AG seeks December deadline to respond to Trump’s mistrial motion
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is seeking a December deadline for the judge to respond to former President Trump’s mistrial motion in his New York fraud case.
In a letter to Judge Arthur Engoron on Thursday, the New York attorney general’s office requested the judge to respond to what it called the defendants’ “spurious allegations” by Dec. 8.
Trump’s legal team filed a motion for a mistrial in the civil fraud case on Wednesday, arguing Engoron and his principal law clerk’s purported bias against the former president has “tainted” the case.
In a 30-page motion, Trump’s legal team referred to Engoron’s posts on a Wheatley School alumni page, which the judge appears to run, that reference the case and those involved in it — including Trump, his son Eric Trump and attorney Alina Habba.
The legal team also claimed the judge’s principal law clerk has acted throughout the trial as a “co-judge,” writing in the motion, “The principal law clerk is given unprecedented and inappropriate latitude.”
The motion for a mistrial didn’t come as a complete surprise, as Trump has repeatedly voiced concerns on both social media and in court about Engoron and the principal law clerk, claiming they are biased and motivated by politics.
Trump’s public comments on the law clerk and judge prompted Engoron last month to issue a limited gag order in the case that prohibits Trump and his attorneys in the case from posting or speaking publicly about members of his staff.
Last month, Engoron fined Trump a total of $15,000 for violating the gag order twice.
James’s $250 million lawsuit — against Trump, the Trump organization and Trump’s two adult sons — alleges the former president’s company sought lower taxes and better insurance coverage by falsely inflating and deflating the value of its assets. Trump and his sons have denied the claims.
The trial began in early October, with Trump’s defense beginning the presentation of its case earlier this week.
Ella Lee contributed reporting.