Donald Trump’s lawyers said they want to make a motion for a mistrial, getting into an extended debate with Judge Arthur Engoron about how they can raise the conduct of his clerk that’s subject to a gag order.
“We would at least need to reference the subject matter,” Trump’s attorney Chris Kise said.
Initially, Engoron told Trump’s lawyers they should not file such a motion that referenced his staff, saying he put the gag order in place to protect them.
“I am 1000% convinced that you don’t have any right or reason to complain about my confidential communications,” Engoron said.
Trump’s attorneys, who have complained about Engoron’s note-passing with his clerk, claim it’s a sign of the trial’s bias and have urged Engoron to reconsider.
“You can’t respectfully reject it before you’ve seen it,” Kise said.
Trump attorney Alina Habba told the judge, “Obviously are going to be moving for a mistrial, that is part of the plan.”
“We need to have an opportunity to be heard on those things that have not been yet heard,” Habba said.
After conferring with his clerk, Engoron changed course and said that Trump’s attorneys could file a motion, but he asked them to do it in writing.
Once they agreed on a course of action, Engoron joked, “See I knew it would be a love fest.”
Trump was sitting back in his chair at the defense table while the exchange was going on.