BALTIMORE — Federal prosecutors on Thursday fiercely defended their case against Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Earlier this month Mosby's lawyers filed a motion to dismiss some of the perjury and mortgage fraud charges lodged against her in a superseding indictment.
The defense alleges that prosecutors built their case around a statement Mosby made on applications to withdraw $90,000 from her City Retirement Savings and Deferred Compensation Plan.
The statement in question is Mosby's claim to have suffered “adverse financial consequences" stemming from COVID-19.
Lawyers for Mosby say the statement is immaterial and “fundamentally ambiguous," and therefore can not be the basis for perjury charges.
They argue the statement had no bearing on whether her application would be approved mostly in part, due to the lack of existence of a “decision-making body.”
Prosecutors countered saying the statement is material, and "the superseding indictment specifically alleges that the City of Baltimore’s Deferred Compensation Plan is the "decision-making body” to whom [Mosby's] false statements were addressed, and that the City of Baltimore’s Deferred Compensation Plans relied on her representations in making the decision to approve her distribution request."
At center of the case is whether Mosby in fact did suffer "adverse financial consequences" stemming from the Coronavirus as a result of being quarantined, furloughed or laid off; having reduced work hours; being unable to work due to lack of childcare; or the closing or reduction of hours of a business she owned or operated.
The Government says she did not and vowed to prove it in court.
In fact prosecutors say in 2020 Mosby earned her full gross salary of nearly a quarter-million dollars, which breaks down to $9,183.54 every two-weeks.
That's not to mention a more than $9,000 raise she reportedly received from 2019 to 2020.
Mosby's lawyers however argue that a person's salary is not all that dictates "adverse financial consequences," while also disputing the difference in legal definitions of “adverse financial consequences” and “hardships.”
In court filings prosecutors called those arguments "nonsensical" and "baseless hyperbole."
"The Defendant’s argument is essentially that Congress cared enough to write into the law the specific “adverse financial consequences” that allow a plan participant to make a withdrawal but at the same time the Congress didn’t care if the Defendant actually suffered from them. Such an argument is nonsensical."
Mosby's team also questioned whether the grand jury who handed down the indictment, may have received improper "misleading and prejudicial" instructions from the prosecution.
The government chalked those allegations up to a "fishing expedition to search for grand jury wrongdoing and abuse when there are no grounds to believe that any wrongdoing or abuse has occurred."
It's not the first time Mosby's lawyers have filed motions to get the case tossed.
The first time U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby rejected their claims of vindictive prosecution and also denied an attempt to have lead prosecutor Leo Wise removed from the case.
Although it's unclear when Griggsby will rule on this latest attempt, trial is scheduled to start September 19.