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Baltimore prosecutor calls charges against her ‘malicious’

February 19, 2022 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s top prosecutor has asked a federal judge to dismiss an indictment against her, alleging the prosecution has been driven by “malicious personal, political, and even racial animus.”

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was indicted last month on charges of perjury and making false mortgage applications in the purchase of two Florida vacation homes. She has pleaded not guilty.

In a motion to dismiss filed by her attorneys Friday, Mosby alleges that the prosecution against her “is the culmination of a long-running crusade to ruin the political career of a young, progressive, Black female elected official.”

In particular, she targets the lead prosecutor in the case, Asst. U.S. Attorney Leo Wise, alleging that he led a prosecution team that ignored her requests to testify and offer exculpatory evidence in her defense to the grand jury that indicted her. Mosby also alleges that U.S. Attorney Erek Barron, who is overseeing the prosecution against her, “has expressed his disapproval” for her both personally and professionally.

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Marcia Murphy, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, did not immediately respond to a voicemail message and an email seeking comment on the allegations made by Mosby.

Mosby, 41, was elected as Baltimore’s state’s attorney in 2014 and reelected in 2018. She received national acclaim in 2015 for bringing criminal charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man whose neck was broken in police custody. Gray’s death sparked protests and riots. None of the officers was convicted.

The four-count indictment alleges that Mosby lied about meeting qualifications for coronavirus-related distributions from a city retirement plan in 2020. Federal prosecutors also allege that Mosby lied on 2020 application forms for mortgages to purchase a home in Kissimmee, Florida, and a condominium in Long Boat Key, Florida.

Her attorney, A. Scott Bolden, has said that the state of Mosby’s fledgling private businesses — Mahogany Elite Travel, Mahogany Elite Enterprises LLC and Mahogany Elite Consulting — allowed her to make the withdrawals.

In the motion to dismiss the indictment, Mosby alleges that the prosecution is driven by an attempt to hurt her chances of winning reelection. The election is scheduled in June.

Mosby says the animus between the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office and her dates back to 2017, when she claims Wise and former acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning “began a smear campaign” to falsely accuse her and her staff of improperly leaking details of a police corruption investigation to the lead suspect. She said Wise donated to two challengers in her 2018 re-election bid.

Mosby accuses Wise of treating her “unfairly, inappropriately and unethically.”

“Taken together, the animus by the prosecution team—and Mr. Wise in particular—is sufficient to warrant dismissal of the indictment,” the motion states.