Embattled Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has asked to postpone her federal criminal trial, a move that could prolong the case until September.
Her trial had been set to begin May 2, but Mosby’s lawyer, A. Scott Bolden, notified the court Friday that he had concerns about meeting upcoming deadlines and resolving pending issues in the case.
Bolden blamed the extensive discovery and “lack of clarity by the government in the identification of its experts” — though federal prosecutors have said in previous filings they do not intend to call expert witnesses.
“While counsel have identified experts for the defense, given the lack of clarity by the government in the identification of its experts, its ‘rolling production’ and voluminous nature of discovery recently produced by government counsel, much of which must be reviewed by said expert(s) in order for them to provide a written summary of their opinions, the defense will be unable to comply with the Court-imposed deadline” for motions in limine, Bolden wrote.
According to Friday’s motion, U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby, who is handling the case, raised concerns about the timeline of the case at a private telephone conference this week and suggested the trial may need to be moved to September, given her court schedule.
“Upon further consideration and reflection, Ms. Mosby agrees with the Court,” Bolden wrote.
Federal prosecutors opposed the request in a response filed soon after the motion and pointed to prior public statements in which Mosby pushed for a speedy trial.
“The only basis for a continuance offered by the defense is that they are unprepared and cannot meet the deadline for making expert disclosures on April 4, 2022,” federal prosecutors wrote. “If that is the case, it is not good cause because this is a situation entirely of their own making.”
They also disagreed with Bolden’s characterization of this week’s telephone conference, and wrote that Griggsby was concerned the May 2 trial date could be at risk because the defense had not yet produced expert disclosures.
Mosby faces two counts each of perjury and making false statements on loan applications. She has claimed that the prosecution is politically motivated and targeted to hurt her chances at reelection this year.
Since the indictment became public in January, Mosby has pushed to take the case to trial as quickly as possible so that it does not interfere with the Democratic primary, which is now scheduled for July 19.
It was not immediately clear Friday what a trial postponement would mean for the election. Mosby has hedged about her plans to run and has yet to formally file for reelection, though her campaign website says to “stay tuned.” The filing deadline is April 15.
A postponement until September would mean campaigning under the looming threat of a criminal trial. That creates a dilemma for her primary opponents, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah, who would be forced to navigate a race in which the incumbent is facing federal charges.
Bates and Vignarajah would have to decide whether to aggressively make the charges against Mosby a campaign issue. And they’d have to factor in the possibility that the state’s attorney might respond to them in the same way she has to the federal prosecution — that the allegations are a politically motivated witch hunt.
Bolden did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment Friday.
Bolden proposed keeping a hearing scheduled for April 14, when the parties will address pretrial motions. The defense has asked for the indictment to be dismissed, based in part on allegations that the lead prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise, has personal animus against Mosby.