Judge rejects Trump's motion for a mistrial

November 18, 2023
Robert Ayers

Judge Arthur Engoron has denied former President Donald Trump's motion for a mistrial.

ABC News reports, "The judge in Donald Trump 's civil fraud case denied his bid for a mistrial Friday, rejecting claims from the former president's lawyers that the proceedings are poisoned by political bias."

Trump's civil fraud trial is the one that New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has brought against the former president, accusing Trump of overvaluing his assets on the loan forms that he submitted to various banks.

Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and he has insisted that James, Engoron, and others involved in the case are all Democratic operatives who are targeting him in light of the fact that he is virtually certain to be the Republican Party's presidential nominee in 2024.

Trump's motion for a mistrial

The former president and his legal team submitted a motion for a mistrial on Wednesday.

In the motion, Trump's lawyers wrote:

In this case, the evidence of apparent and actual bias is tangible and overwhelming. Such evidence, coupled with an unprecedented departure from standard judicial procedure, has tainted these proceedings and a mistrial is warranted.

In the remainder of the motion, Trump's legal team highlighted various facts that they believe demonstrate Engoron's bias.

ABC reports:

They cited his rulings against Trump, the prominent role that the judge’s chief law clerk plays in court, the clerk's political donations and what the defense called Engoron’s “appearance of impropriety” in sharing articles about the case in his high school alumni newsletter.

James, in response, asked Engoron to issue a ruling on the motion by early December. But, it did not take Engoron that long.

Engoron denies Trump's motion

On Friday, Engoron denied Trump's motion.

NBC News reports:

In a brief and blunt ruling, Judge Arthur Engoron said he was refusing to even allow arguments on the mistrial motion because the premises of the motion were flawed and it would be "futile." The judge described Trump's rationale for halting the trial, now in its second month, as "disingenuous," made in "bad faith," and "nonsensical."

Trump's legal team has issued a public statement in response to Engoron's decision to deny their motion.

They accused Engoron of refusing "to take responsibility" for his "failure to preside over this case in an impartial and unbiased manner."

They added, "We, however, remain undeterred and will continue to fight for our client’s right to a fair trial."

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