A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss charges against Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby after her lawyers argued that the prosecutor on her case has a racist and vindictive agenda against her.
Mosby is facing federal perjury and false mortgage application charges. Her lawyers argued that Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise has an affinity for targeting Black officials and personal animosity against Mosby, according to reports.
The legal team demanded that Wise be removed from the case or the case be dismissed altogether because of a lack of specific evidence against Mosby.
U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby rejected the arguments on April 14.
According to reports, the judge said Mosby failed to meet the legal standard for the charges to be dropped or Wise removed from the case. The arguments, she said, were a “difference of opinion.”
According to Mosby’s January indictment, she claimed she faced financial hardship because of the COVID-19 to make two early withdrawals from her retirement savings account, which totals $90,000, an exemption authorized under the CARES Act. However, the indictment says that Mosby received her full gross salary of nearly $248,000 for the year.
Federal prosecutors also said Mosby failed to acknowledge she had unpaid federal taxes and a lien on mortgage applications for two home purchases in Florida. She also said one of the properties would be a second home but had already made an agreement with a property management company to rent the home, according to the indictment. Mosby’s husband was not charged.
Mosby’s lead attorney A. Scott Bolden said that the actions did not constitute mortgage fraud because the management company had to get her approval before renting the home.
Griggsby said Bolden failed to prove Wise had a racially motivated grudge against his client or had a pattern of prosecuting Black officials, according to reports.
“Are you aware of any evidence that shows Mr. Wise has prosecuted someone because of their race? Black official or not?” Griggsby asked Bolden.
“I am not,” Bolden said.
Wise said Mosby “utterly failed” to prove her claims. He accused Mosby and her attorney of creating “a victim fantasy” to deflect from her conduct. Wise also said the allegations of “racial animus-based prosecution” is a political ploy similar to former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims during the 2020 presidential election.
“It’s all a plan to delegitimize anyone who has the temerity to question her behavior,” Wise said in court. “It’s just like what Trump did.”
After the hearing, Bolden told reporters he was “more disappointed than surprised” with Griggsby’s decision, but the ruling did not seem to detour Mosby or her legal team, according to reports. The case is scheduled for trial on Sept. 19.
“I’m going to fight, and I’m going to prevail, like I always do,” Mosby told reporters outside of the courthouse.
The judge’s ruling came the same day Mosby announced her plan to run for reelection. She released a video touting her track record as a state’s attorney with soundbites from Kayne West’s “Jesus Walks,” but it was deleted from YouTube and replaced with a toned-down announcement video.
“We just filed for our official candidacy for state attorney for Baltimore city. Game on,” Mosby said.