Former President Donald Trump’s legal team called for a mistrial in his New York fraud case based on the claim that the trial judge, Arthur Engoron, and his principal law clerk have shown an alarming bias against Trump, tainting the entire case.

Trump’s lawyers are asking Engoron to halt the case immediately, citing what they describe as “astonishing departures from ordinary standards of impartiality” that have irreparably harmed the former president’s right to a fair trial.

“This appearance of bias threatens both Defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution,” the 30-page motion reads.

One key point highlighted in the motion is Engoron’s involvement in a Wheatley School alumni page, where he has made posts referencing the case and individuals involved, including Trump, his son Eric Trump, and Trump attorney Alina Habba.

This is an issue as the New York code explicitly states that “a judge shall not make any public comment about a pending or impending proceeding in any court within the United States or its territories.”

The motion for mistrial also includes concerns about Engoron’s principal law clerk, who the lawyers argue has been acting as a “co-judge” throughout the trial. The clerk has been seen conferring with Engoron via whispers or written notes before most orders have been issued, a practice that Trump and his legal team deem inappropriate.

Furthermore, the motion questions whether the clerk’s political leanings might be influencing what appears to be an anti-Trump bias. According to the lawyers, the clerk has made “partisan political contributions in excess of strict limits,” including support for groups opposing Trump and endorsing New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat.

The filing for a mistrial comes on the heels of a limited gag order that was imposed after Trump made a post about the clerk during the trial. Trump, who is currently the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has criticized the gag order and Engoron himself, calling him “extremely hostile.”