BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Eight weeks after Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby called for her federal trial to begin immediately, her defense is now asking that it be delayed until September.
In a motion filed Friday in federal court, Mosby's defense attorney cited concerns he said the court previously expressed about whether both sides would be ready to go May 2 when Mosby's trial is scheduled to get underway.
Additionally, the motion states the defense would not be able to meet the court's deadlines, pointing to a lack of clarity on the identities of the government's expert witnesses and the high volume of discovery materials provided by prosecutors.
" ... Counsel must first sift through recently provided discovery in order to identify relevant motion(s) [to exclude certain testimony]," the defense motion states. "Again, this cannot be accomplished within the current timeframe set forth by the Court."
The government filed a response Friday, saying among other things that the defense's assertions about the government's experts and the volume of discovery are "false" and challenging the idea that the court wanted to delay the 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," the response states. "If that is the case, it is not good cause because this is a situation entirely of their own making."
The timeline of the trial could have an impact on the Baltimore City State's Attorney election, which has already produced three potential challengers.
In February, Mosby called for the trial to begin as soon as possible, saying she did not want the court proceedings to influence her reelection bid. She has maintained that she is innocent of perjury and false statement charges.
"We all deserve for this to be over," Mosby said at the time. "What I'm asking for is to be tried right now because I am innocent, and the citizens of Baltimore deserve to know that as well before my election, which is four months out."
Prosecutors allege that Mosby lied about enduring financial hardships related to COVID-19 to withdraw money without penalty from her retirement account and that she falsified information on loan applications.
Mosby has pleaded not guilty to all four counts. She has vowed to clear her name of the allegations, which her defense has characterized as being "politically motivated."
"Don't be fooled," Mosby said following her Jan. 13 indictment. "We are five months from my next election, and this indictment is a merely a political ploy by my political adversaries to unseat me."
It was not immediately Friday whether the court intends to approve or deny the defense's request, but Bolden's motion acknowledged that federal prosecutors do not support a postponement.
"... (T)he government has significantly contributed to the relief requested herein," the motion states. "Nevertheless, counsel for Ms. Mosby has consulted with the government, and the government has authorized counsel to state that it opposes this request."
In its response, the government points to several public and televised appearances Mosby and her attorneys have made during which they called for a speedy trial.
Concerning the "lack of clarity" on the identification of government experts, prosecutors point to a Feb. 23 status conference in which they said they do not "anticipate any expert witnesses at this point."
In addition, prosecutors challenged the notion that Mosby's legal team needs additional time to sort through "voluminous discovery."
"The discovery in this case has been small relative to other fraud cases because the charges are so straightforward," prosecutors said. "Further the discovery produced recently consists almost entirely of the defendant's own financial records."
Besides that, prosecutors accused Mosby's defense of mischaracterizing what the court had to say during a March 30 status conference by implying the court was seeking to postpone the trial.
"As the transcript will show, the Court expressed concern that because expert disclosures had not been made by the defense, the trial date could be in jeopardy," prosecutors stated.
The government said it would be open to delaying the deadline for the defense to disclose its expert witnesses from April 4 to April 8, but said that delay would not require a postponement of the trial.
"The United States is ready to try this case on May 2, 2022, and believes it is in the public interest for the trial to occur at that time. Therefore, the United States urges the Court to deny the defendant's motion for a continuance based solely on her own counsel's failure to meet their expert witness disclosure obligations."
It remains to be seen how the case's timeline will affect the upcoming election. While Mosby has yet to file for reelection, three candidates have entered the race in hopes of replacing Mosby.
Former Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah has filed to run as a Democrat, joining fellow Democrat Ivan Bates and Roya Hanna, who has signaled she will run as an independent.
Vignarajah, who ran unsuccessfully for the same office in 2018, has been endorsed by Gov. Larry Hogan, a frequent critic of Mosby.
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