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Mosby announces she will run for reelection despite looming criminal trial

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby says she will seek a third term in office. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Tuesday that she will run for a third term as the city’s top prosecutor, ending weeks of uncertainty about her plans amid a pending federal indictment.

In a three-minute video — and an interview with the Baltimore Banner — Mosby confirmed she will once again face off against opponents Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah in the Democratic primary.

“Looking forward, there is still so much more work to be done,” Mosby said in the video. “But I am more confident than ever that Baltimore is on the verge of scripting our greatest chapter ever.”

Mosby’s announcement came just days before the April 15 filing deadline for political candidates. Her video is titled “We’re built for this 2022,” a reference to when Mosby said she is “built for this” in her first public comments after being indicted in January.

Mosby will have to campaign while under the looming threat of a federal criminal trial, a dilemma that will present challenges both for Mosby and for her opponents, who must decide whether to make the charges a campaign issue.

The race will echo 2018, when Mosby bested Vignarajah and Bates in the Democratic primary. Mosby won reelection while Bates, a defense attorney, and Vignarajah, a former prosecutor, split the remaining vote.

This year’s race also includes Roya Hanna, a defense attorney and former prosecutor who recently announced she would drop out of the Democratic primary and run as an Independent.

Mosby referred questions to her campaign Tuesday. An email to the campaign was not immediately returned.

In federal court, Mosby faces two counts each of perjury and making false statements on loan applications. She is accused of falsely claiming financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to withdraw money from her retirement account without incurring the usual penalty.

She is also charged with failing to disclose a $45,000 IRS lien when she applied for mortgages on two properties in Florida, and of lying about receiving a $5,000 “gift” from her husband, City Council President Nick Mosby, in order to secure a favorable interest rate on one of the properties.

Marilyn Mosby has claimed that the charges are politically motivated and that she was targeted for prosecution because of her efforts to pursue criminal justice reforms.

She initially pushed for her trial to take place as quickly as possible, but her lawyers recently asked for a postponement.

U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby pushed the trial to Sept. 19. A pretrial hearing is set for Thursday.

Mosby’s lawyer, A. Scott Bolden, has asked Griggsby to dismiss the indictment based in part on allegations that the lead prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise, is pursuing the case against Mosby out of personal animus.

The pretrial motions also claim that Mosby did not know about the $45,000 tax lien when she applied for the Florida mortgages. The motions blamed Nick Mosby for failing to inform her of a series of tax problems and then telling her, incorrectly, that the IRS lien had been paid off.