A federal judge rejected a motion to dismiss federal charges against Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby after her attorneys argued that the prosecutor is racist against her.
Mosby faces a federal perjury charge as well as being accused of filing false mortgage applications in 2020. Her attorneys argue that US Attorney Leo Wise is racist and likes to target Black officials and has a personal dislike of Mosby.
The Mosby legal team wanted Wise to be taken off the federal case or have the case dismissed because of a lack of evidence. However, US District Judge Lydia Griggsby rejected these arguments last week.
Mosby Failed To Meet Legal Standard To Drop Charges
It was reported last week that the judge noted that Mosby did not meet the legal standard for charges to be dismissed or remove the prosecutor from the case. Her arguments boiled down to a difference of opinion, Griggsby said.
Mosby’s January 2022 federal indictment states that she claimed she had financial hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic, so she made two early withdrawals from her 401k for $90,000, which is allowed under the CARES Act. But the federal indictment stated that the state’s attorney still received her salary of $248,000 for the year.
Federal prosecutors also claim she didn’t acknowledge that she has federal taxes she hasn’t paid and a lien on mortgage applications for two vacation homes in Florida. She noted that one of the homes would be a second home but they already had an agreement to rent it.
Mosby’s attorney Scott Bolden said his client’s actions weren’t mortgage fraud because the property management company needed her approval to rent the property. However, she didn’t acknowledge on the mortgage applications that she has unpaid federal taxes.
Griggsby stated that Bolden didn’t show Wise was racist against Mosby or often prosecuted Black officials.
Wise added that Mosby didn’t prove her claims, and he also accused her and her lawyer of pretending to be a victim so she can avoid dealing with her conduct. He said that she is trying to throw into doubt anyone who questions her actions.
Feds Have Phone Call Recordings Between Mosby And City Retirement Plan Manager
The federal case against Mosby has been in the works since the beginning of the year. The most recent twist is that federal prosecutors have phone call recordings between Mosby and the firm that manages Baltimore’s retirement plan. This revelation was revealed when several federal filings were made last week.
The case against her comes down to perjury she allegedly engaged in to get two penalty-free withdrawals from her retirement account. It also looks suspicious to some observers that someone who makes $248,000 per year claimed financial hardship to take money out of a retirement account without penalties.
Experts in Maryland say the federal government always pursues perjury charges aggressively because it’s what the entire legal system is based on. The US uses a contract system that hinges on people telling each other the truth. And when the truth isn’t told, it undermines the ability of the system to get things done.
Some say the case in Baltimore that Mosby’s resembles is Ed Norris, who was the city’s police commissioner. He also was accused of perjury, and he eventually pled guilty to making false statements on mortgage applications. Norris was sent to federal prison for six months in 2004.
A local former prosecutor said if the federal government wants to prove what she said and how she represented it, the phone call recordings are the way to prove it. Andrew Alperstein also said it’s very persuasive to hear the voice of the person accused of a crime. It could be that the jury will be swayed by the sound of Mosby’s voice as she engaged in certain conduct.
He noted that the federal government probably didn’t wiretap her phone, but that her insurance company probably recorded it.
Prosecutors allege that she illegally withdrew $81,000 from her retirement accounts, lied about it and bought two homes near Orlando. They also say she made false statements on the mortgage applications.
Federal Trial Will Happen Close To Fall Election
The case will be tried on September 19, and Mosby announced this week she is running for reelection for state attorney for Baltimore city. Her attorneys had tried to get the trial scheduled for the spring or summer to get it out of the way before her reelection campaign kicks off.
However, the trial will be ongoing just before the November election, which could greatly affect her reelection campaign.
In a recent town hall with Baltimore constituents, a question from the audience showed the fine line Mosby may need to walk to be reelected.
A questioner asked how a voter in Baltimore ‘can feel comfortable’ with the state’s attorney spending a lot of time in Florida and making $250,000 per year. Then, the questioner said, she took money out of their pension fund so they can flip homes in Florida and make $150,000.
Mosby didn’t like the questions and said she wasn’t at the event to talk about her personal matters. She also argued that she is being attacked personally and racially.
If Mosby is convicted, she could get five years in prison for each perjury charge and 30 years in federal prison for each count of making a false mortgage application.