Donald Trump is asking for a mistrial in his civil fraud case alleging the judge who will decide the case is biased against him.
Trump’s attorneys filed a motion Wednesday, saying “ the evidence of apparent and actual bias is tangible and overwhelming.”
The motion cites Judge Arthur Engoron and his law clerk, who has been the subject of multiple complaints from Trump’s attorneys and the former president himself, resulting in a gag order from the judge.
Engoron has already signaled that he will deny the motion, initially advising Trump’s attorney that he shouldn’t file it but then saying he could file it in writing.
Trump’s attorneys argue the judge has unfairly ruled against Trump, made comments during the trial they allege show bias and has exceeded his discretion is working with his clerk, who has donated to organizations they allege are supporting New York Attorney General Letitia James and others that oppose Trump in excess of contribution limits.
“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,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the motion.
The judge has defended his communications with his law clerk saying he has an “unfettered right” to discuss legal issues with her and noted that when campaigning, which his clerk was at one point, there are different limits to political donations.
Engoron’s gag order prohibits Trump and his attorneys from making any statements about court staff and specifically about communications he has with his law clerk. Trump has been fined twice for violating the gag order.
A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office said, “Once again, Donald Trump is trying to dismiss the truth and the facts, but the numbers and evidence don’t lie. 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 motion was made during the seventh week of trial as Trump’s team has begun putting on its defense.