Donald Trump’s New York business fraud case is going so badly for him that the former president is now throwing any strategy at the wall to see what sticks.
Trump’s lawyers requested a mistrial on Wednesday, accusing presiding Judge Arthur Engoron and his law clerk of behavior that undermines the trial’s fairness.
“This appearance of bias threatens both Defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution,” the filing said. “Only the grant of a mistrial can salvage what is left of the rule of law.”
Trump’s attorneys took particular issue with Allison Greenfield, the law clerk who has repeatedly blocked Trump’s attempt to slow the trial. They said she had been given an inappropriately prominent role in the trial, despite the fact that Greenfield is a trained lawyer. Law clerks also usually do most of the research for a trial and draft court orders, which the judge then signs.
Trump’s lawyers also accused Engoron of sharing newspaper stories about the case in a newsletter linked to the high school where he graduated.
It will be up to Engoron to decide whether to grant a mistrial, which seems highly unlikely. The judge has made clear he intends to suffer no fools during this trial. He has already slapped Trump and Trump’s lawyers with multiple gag orders, after they repeatedly attacked Engoron and Greenfield both in court and on social media.
The ongoing trial is really just to set damages. The New York attorney general accused Trump, his sons Don Jr. and Eric, the Trump Organization, and other company executives of fraudulently inflating the value of various real estate assets to get more favorable terms on bank loans. Engoron determined in September that Trump committed fraud.
Engoron ordered that all Trump’s New York business certificates be canceled, making it nearly impossible to do business in the state and effectively killing the Trump Organization.
This article has been updated.