Judge rejects Trump bid for mistrial in NY fraud case: 'utterly without merit'

Engoron and Trump have maintained largely hostile relations throughout the trial.

Published: November 17, 2023 5:30pm

New York Judge Arthur Engoron on Friday rejected a bid from former President Donald Trump's legal team for a mistrial in his ongoing civil fraud case, which has seen the former president spar with the judge who imposed a now-stayed gag order against him.

The case stems from New York Attorney General Letitia James's allegations that Trump manipulated the value of his assets to secure favorable loan terms and lower insurance premiums. Engoron ruled in summary judgement that Trump had done so, resulting in a tense trial to address the remaining charges.

Trump's team filed for a mistrial earlier this week, asserting that both the prosecutors and the court were biased against him.

Engoron on Friday called the request "utterly without merit" and said Trump's attorneys selectively presented his comments to present the appearance of bias, The Hill reported. In particular, Engoron highlighted the filing's inclusion of a line in which he stated that he was "not here to hear what [Trump] has to say," but did not include his subsequent comment.

"Such argument is disingenuous and made in bad faith, as defendants omitted what I said immediately after that sentence, which is ‘I’m here to hear him answer questions," he wrote. The judge further vehemently denied that his chief clerk, Allison Greenfield, was acting as a de facto "co-judge."

Engoron and Trump have maintained largely hostile relations throughout the trial. He initially imposed a gag order on the former president after he posted a picture of Greenfield with the caption "Schumer's girlfriend." The judge later imposed a second gag order that also applied to his attorneys after Trump lawyer Christopher Kise raised allegations that Greenfield made excessive political contributions in violation of judicial ethics rules.

An appellate judge stayed Engoron's restrictions on both Trump and his attorneys on Thursday, permitting them to criticize both prosecutors and court personnel while the legal challenge proceeded.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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