Judge Arthur Engoron shut down Donald Trump’s attempt to secure a mistrial in a civil fraud lawsuit that could lead to him and his co-defendants forfeiting hundreds of millions of dollars and being barred from running a business in New York. Trump and others argued that the trial should be thrown out because the judge’s law clerk had attended a Democratic political event advocating for Joe Biden. The judge dismissed these claims and asserted that his law clerk didn’t make rulings or issue orders.
The ongoing trial stems from the New York Attorney General’s lawsuit against Trump, his sons, and associates, alleging fraud and other financial misdeeds. Engoron ruled in September that Trump committed fraud and is now presiding over the trial to address other allegations, including falsifying business records and insurance fraud. In a recent attempt to request a mistrial, Trump also criticized the judge’s law clerk’s political contributions, but the judge determined his clerk’s campaign contributions were within legal limits.
The judge’s decision to deny Trump’s request for a mistrial follows a New York appeals court’s move to suspend gag orders imposed by the judge. Trump’s legal team claims the clerk effectively collaborated with the judge during the trial, but the judge defended his right to consult with his law clerks and make independent rulings.
In summary, the judge has refused to grant Trump’s request for a mistrial in his civil fraud case in New York. This case is ongoing, and this development follows criticism from Trump and his legal team regarding the judge’s law clerk’s political affiliations and contributions, but the judge maintained that he and his clerk operate independently and within legal boundaries. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY.