Trump’s Mistrial Motion Dismissed in Fraud Case, as He Denounces Judge’s ‘Politically Biased and Out of Control’ Clerk

‘A.G. James and Engoron worked in COLLUSION to make some assets many times lower in Value than they are,’ President Trump says.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Judge Arthur Engoron, seated next to his principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, has demanded answers about the reports that Mr. Weisselberg may have lied. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The judge presiding over President Trump’s New York fraud case has dismissed his motion seeking a mistrial because of perceived bias by the judge and his law clerk. The judge, Arthur Engoron, in his ruling denied the claims that he’s biased.

Mr. Trump and his attorneys have been complaining for weeks about what they say is “tangible and overwhelming bias” by Judge Engoron and his principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, whom they accused of bias, “co-judging,” passing notes to the judge, and whispering with him on the bench.

“My rulings are mine, and mine alone,” Judge Engoron wrote. “There is absolutely no ‘co-judging’ at play.”

Attorneys for Mr. Trump had argued that Judge Engoron treats the case with “astonishing departures from ordinary standards of impartiality,” citing his repeated rulings against Mr. Trump.

President Trump during his civil fraud trial at the state supreme court building at New York, October 4, 2023.
President Trump during his civil fraud trial at the state supreme court building at New York, October 4, 2023. Jeenah Moon/the New York Times via AP, pool, file

“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,” attorneys for Mr. Trump argued in a filing.

In a statement, Attorney General Letitia James’s office said that Mr. Trump was “trying to dismiss the truth and the facts” in his push for the mistrial, but that “the numbers and evidence don’t lie.”

“He can keep trying to distract from his fraud, but the truth always comes out,” the statement read, adding that Mr. 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.”

Ms. James has sued the Trump Organization, claiming it engaged in a decades-long scheme to falsely inflate property values in order to win more favorable loan and insurance terms. Judge Engoron has already ruled, without a trial, that the Trumps committed fraud, and he revoked Mr. Trump’s license to operate a business in New York. That revocation has been stayed by a higher court while Mr. Trump appeals.

Judge Arthur Engoron’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield. Via LinkedIn

The ongoing trial is merely to decide damages. Ms. James is seeking a fine of $250 million and wants the Trump family banned from operating in New York. Mr. Trump and his attorneys have persistently argued that the prosecution is selective and political. Ultimately, the case is expected to be decided on appeal.

Judge Engoron’s rejection of the motion for mistrial comes just a day after a gag order was lifted that he had imposed on Mr. Trump for his attacks on Ms. Greenfield. A New York Appellate Division judge, David Friedman, ruled Thursday in favor of lifting the gag order while a longer appeals process goes forward.

Judge Engoron had imposed the gag order on Mr. Trump, and later expanded it to his lawyers, because of their vociferous complaints about alleged bias and “co-judging” by Ms. Greenfield, whom Mr. Trump had, without substantiation, called “Schumer’s girlfriend,” referring to the Democratic Senate majority leader. 

Judge Engoron fined Mr. Trump a total of $15,000 for insulting Ms. Greenfield, who has continued to sit on the bench next to the justice throughout the trial.

Judge Arthur Engoron at his courtroom at New York, September 28, 2023. AP/Seth Wenig

Almost as soon as the gag order was lifted against Mr. Trump, the former president posted a series of comments concerning the judge and Ms. Greenfield on his social media platform, Truth Social. In one of his posts, he called Ms. Greenfield a “Trump Hating Clerk,” saying she is sinking the clerk to “new levels of LOW.”

“The Radical and Unprecedented actions of Judge Engoron will keep BUSINESSES and JOBS forever out of New York State,” Mr. Trump said. “I have done NOTHING WRONG, my numbers were low, not high, I have a COMPLETE DISCLAIMER CLAUSE.”

Later Thursday night, Mr. Trump posted again, calling Judge Engoron a “Trump Hating, Radical Left Judge,” claiming that he is “sadly, the most overturned Judge in New York State.”

“A.G. James and Engoron worked in COLLUSION to make some assets many times lower in Value than they are. By doing this, they ridiculously and wrongfully, without Knowledge, Trial, or Jury (which is not allowed in this case!), ruled that I was guilty of FRAUD,” Mr. Trump said.

In yet another post, Mr. Trump said that the case is being brought because “A.G. Letitia Peekaboo James is running for Governor of New York AGAIN,” and that she is working with Judge Engoron on the case.

“That is why she, with the help of a very complicit Judge Engoron, who has cut my Values to a tiny fraction of what they are really worth in order to claim FRAUD, has brought this ridiculous case against me,” Mr. Trump said.

The gag order imposed on Mr. Trump was, according to Judge Engoron, done so because his court had received “hundreds of threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters and packages.” In Mr. Trump’s initial posts on Ms. Greenfield, he also linked to her Instagram account.

Mr. Engoron has also referenced the potential effects of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric against the court, saying, “I don’t want anybody killed”  at the court.

The New York Sun

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