In a recent development, the judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial has firmly rejected the former president’s bid for a mistrial, deeming it “utterly without merit.” This decision comes as Trump’s legal team claimed bias on the part of Judge Arthur Engoron and his principal law clerk. The allegations were based on the judge’s rulings, public comments, and his law clerk’s political involvement.
Trump’s legal team had petitioned the judge to issue an order to show cause, which would have enabled Trump and the New York attorney general’s office to present legal arguments and be heard on the matter. While the attorney general’s team didn’t oppose the idea of legal briefings, they emphasized the importance of not allowing it to disrupt the ongoing trial, which is slated to conclude next month.
However, Judge Engoron, in a written response, declared that there was no need for such a briefing, firmly standing by his previous rulings. He also defended his law clerk’s political activities, including campaign donations, asserting that they remained within acceptable limits.
“I cannot sign a proposed order to show cause that is utterly without merit, and upon which subsequent briefing would therefore be futile,” the judge wrote. “I stand by each and every ruling, and they speak for themselves.”
Furthermore, Judge Engoron clarified that there was no collusion or biased conduct involved in his decisions. This statement came just a day after a New York appeals court judge temporarily lifted the gag order imposed by Engoron on Trump and his legal team, allowing them to freely comment on his law clerk.
The judge’s firm rejection of Trump’s request for a mistrial reaffirms the integrity of the ongoing civil fraud trial. As the trial moves forward, both parties will continue to present their respective cases, and the final verdict remains eagerly awaited.