Throughout former President Donald Trump's ongoing civil fraud trial in New York, he and his attorneys have repeatedly highlighted multiple instances of the judge and his top clerk displaying clear and overt partisan political bias against the defendant.
Those complaints of political bias and partisanship have now been formalized in a motion that calls for the case to end immediately with a declaration of mistrial, Breitbart reported.
Unsurprisingly, the chief prosecutor in this case, Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has also repeatedly displayed her partisan bias against the former president, was furious in a statement expressing opposition to the mistrial motion.
In a 30-page motion filed Wednesday, former President Trump's attorneys emphasized the importance of trials being conducted in a "fair and impartial" manner. They wrote that "there can be no doubt of the public perception of bias in this case. Even commentators who are politically opposed to President Trump have noted the biased nature of the proceedings and the astonishing departures from ordinary standards of impartiality."
"This appearance of bias threatens both Defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution," the motion continued. "As developed herein, 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."
"Specifically, the Court’s own conduct, coupled with the Principal Law Clerk, Allison Greenfield’s ("Principal Law Clerk") unprecedented role in the trial and extensive, public partisan activities, would cause even a casual observer to question the Court’s partiality," Trump's attorneys argued. "Thus, only the grant of a mistrial can salvage what is left of the rule of law."
The mistrial motion proceeded to document numerous instances in which Judge Arthur Engoron and Principal Law Clerk Allison Greenfield have overtly displayed their partisan bias against former President Trump in ways that the defense attorneys assert are in violation of New York's Code of Judicial Conduct.
For the judge, Trump's attorneys pointed to his repeated posting over the past few years of biased news articles to a school alumnus newsletter he manages that were critical or disparaging of Trump, his family, his business, and his attorneys and pertained to pending or impending cases he was presiding over.
They also called out the evident "co-judging" of Engoron and Greenfield, who sit together on the bench and routinely consult with each other on virtually all matters through facial expressions, gestures, whispered comments, or handwritten notes, and observed, "While a Justice of the Court no doubt has ample discretion to consult with his or her Law Secretaries, this unprecedented arrangement exceeds the outer limits of such discretion."
In addition to that "appearance of impropriety," Trump's attorneys also took issue with Greenfield's political contributions to Democratic candidates and organizations that are publicly opposed to the defendant and that purportedly exceeded state-imposed limitations on partisan activity and donations by court staffers.
Other assorted displays of partisan bias mentioned in the motion included Judge Engoron's pre-trial judgment against Trump, his gag order silencing criticism of himself and Greenfield and enforcement thereof with summary fines, his routine rulings against defense objections, and comments made in court that demonstrated a bias against the former president.
"At this point, the taint of these proceedings is both obvious and irreversible. Worse even, the Court has abrogated its constitutional responsibility to ensure each Defendant, including President Trump, receives a fair trial free from even the appearance of impropriety and impartiality," the motion concluded. "Therefore, given the demonstrable partisan bias present on the bench at trial, the only way to maintain public confidence in a truly independent and impartial judiciary and the rule of law is to bring these proceedings to an immediate halt."
"Once again, Donald Trump is trying to dismiss the truth and the facts, but the numbers and evidence don’t lie," a spokesperson for Attorney General James said in a statement, according to Courthouse News. "Donald 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."
The outlet further reported that Judge Engoron declined to substantially comment or rule on the mistrial motion but did give the AG's office a day to consider whether or not it wanted to file a response. According to The Hill, James sent the judge a letter on Thursday requesting a deadline of Dec. 8 for that formal response to be submitted.