The perjury trial against the ex-Baltimore Attorney faces further delays
BALTIMORE (AP) — The federal perjury case against Marilyn Mosby, the former Baltimore attorney general, which was set to appear in court in March, is likely to face further delays after a judge on Friday allowed her entire defense team to resign.
Her six private attorneys had asked to withdraw from the case earlier this month after U.S. District Court Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby announced possible criminal contempt charges against lead attorney A .Scott Bolden, who is accused of violating several court rules.
During a virtual hearing Friday in federal court in Baltimore, Griggsby granted the motion and announced the results of a recent investigation into Mosby’s finances. She declared her in need and therefore eligible for representation by a public defender. The Office of the Federal Public Defender for Maryland will represent her going forward.
Griggsby said it will take time for Mosby’s new attorney to update the case, which will likely take longer. The judge urged lawyers from both sides to confer on a possible timetable and report back next week.
Mosby’s trial date has already been postponed twice. Most recently, it was supposed to start on March 27th.
Mosby, who faces perjury and mortgage fraud charges, recently left office after serving two high-profile terms as Baltimore’s attorney general. She was defeated in a Democratic primary last year after federal prosecutors accused her of experiencing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic to make early withdrawals from her retirement account. She used the money to buy two vacation properties in Florida, prosecutors say.
Her salary as a prosecutor was about $248,000 as of 2020, the same year she was released.
Mosby’s lawyers argued that the pandemic had an impact on financial markets as well as Mosby’s personal travel and consulting businesses. They accused prosecutors of having racial or political motives for pursuing the case, although Griggsby previously denied their claim of vindictive prosecution. Mosby is black.
During Friday’s hearing, Mosby said she needs new lawyers, even if that means the case will be delayed again.
“I feel that their interests are now clearly against mine,” she told the judge. “Again, I want this case to be dealt with as soon as possible so that I can start my life again.”
Griggsby also lamented the recent delay. She allowed Mosby’s defense team to withdraw despite objections from prosecutors, who argued that Bolden only faced a potential conflict of interest because of the threatened contempt trial against him.
Griggsby had previously given Bolden until Jan. 31 to explain in writing why he should not be prosecuted for violating court rules. The judge said his missteps included using profanity on the courthouse steps, revealing confidential juror responses and filing a motion without a statutory license from Maryland.
Bolden and three of Mosby’s other lawyers, who work at the same firm, argued that they should be allowed to resign because the sanctions against Bolden created a conflict of interest for all of them. The two remaining attorneys said they only represented her secondarily and did not have the time or resources to conduct the defense on their own.
Lea Skene, The Associated Press