The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York last Friday rejected his attorney’s request for a mistrial, calling it “without merit,” CBS News reported.
On November 16, attorneys for the former president filed a motion for a mistrial, claiming that Judge Arthur Engoron and his clerk Allison Greenfield displayed bias and accusing the judge of allowing Greenfield to “co-judge” the case.
In his ruling on the motion, Judge Engoron took issue with the claims, writing that the rulings in the case were his and his alone, insisting that there has been “no ‘co-judging’ at play.”
Throughout the case, Trump’s attorneys and the former president himself have fiercely criticized the judge for Greenfield’s involvement in the case. They have argued that Engoron and Greenfield are overwhelmingly biased in favor of New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Trump’s attorneys announced on the same day Trump testified that they planned to file a motion for a mistrial.
In their motion, Trump’s lawyers argued that the Judge “abrogated” his “constitutional responsibility” to ensure a defendant receives a fair trial that is free from “the appearance of impropriety and impartiality.” They complained that Engoron consulted with Greenfield too frequently during the case.
In his rejection of the motion, Engoron argued that he has the right to consult with his clerks “in any way, shape, or form I choose.”
Engoron also rejected the attorney general’s proposed briefing schedule to discuss the mistrial motion, arguing that the motion itself was “without merit” and therefore a briefing would be “futile.”
The trial, which began in early October, is expected to continue until December.
The case stems from a lawsuit brought by the attorney general’s office in September 2022 in which prosecutors allege that Donald Trump and his company engaged in decade-long fraud linked to financial statements.