Tommy Taylor and James Gordon, Daily Mail, January 17, 2022
A lawyer for Baltimore’s top prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, who has been indicted on charges of perjury and making false mortgage applications to buy two summer homes in Florida, says she is the target of a racist witch hunt.
‘I remain confident that once all the evidence is presented, that [Mosby] will prevail against these bogus charges — charges that are rooted in personal, political and racial animus five months from her election,’ attorney A. Scott Bolden told NewsOne.
On Sunday, Mosby, 41, attended church at the Empowerment Temple AME in Baltimore – and was promptly surrounded in a prayer circle, before being invited on stage to give an update.
Whipping out her phone and reading from a prepared statement, Mosby said: ‘We can certainly use your prayers. As a family, we are in the fight of our lives. But I stand before you confident and covered, trusting that with God on our side, I believe the fight is already fixed in my favor.
‘On Friday, I made a commitment to the citizens of Baltimore that I would not let the distraction of my federal indictment distract me or my team of doing the work of making Baltimore, healthier, safer or more equitable for everybody in our community,’ Mosby said as she read out her speech from notes on her cellphone while a pianist played quietly in the background.
‘I make that same commitment to you all today.
‘I also stated that, without equivocation, I am innocent of the charges levied against me,’ Mosby said to church applause.
‘I have done nothing wrong, and I am confident that I will be exonerated and my name will be cleared.’
Mosby was brought up to the front of the church by Reverend Robert Turner alongside her husband Baltimore City Council President, Nick, where they held hands to join a prayer circle.
‘Lord we call on you, in the name of Jesus that you cover, anoint and protect for all the fiery darts of the enemy.
‘We rebuke the enemy and his attack on their life. The Devil is a liar,’ Rev. Turner said to the musical accompaniment of a jazz organ playing softly behind them.
‘We surround her physically now, but spiritually forevermore, as we intercede on her behalf. Lord, we know you bring real justice, the real judge and jury. Protect her and be her advocate in her courtroom,’ the reverend said.
During his sermon Sunday, Rev. Turner continually referred to the charges against Mosby while discussing the biblical account of Jesus forgiving a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery.
The sermon was entitled: ‘He dropped the charges.’
‘One sad fact about today is social media can allow people to be charged — accused — before you ever set foot in a courtroom. As a people of African descent, we have been charged before we even got here. They charged us while we were minding our business in Africa,’ Turner said.
‘I know I’m new here to Baltimore, but it don’t take me long to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong. And in my humble opinion, what’s being done to this sister is dead wrong,’ Turner said at another point in Sunday’s service.
On Friday, Mosby, elected state’s attorney in 2015, said she was the victim of a ‘ploy’ by political adversaries seeking to unseat her and was determined to ‘fight with every ounce in my being and to clear my name.’
‘I’m here before you today to state unequivocally that I am innocent,’ she said in a 10-minute statement delivered to reporters as she choked back tears. She took no questions at the end.
Mosby is accused of falsely claiming twice to have suffered a work-related financial hardship from COVID-19 in order to request two early withdrawals totaling $90,000 from her city employee retirement account.
Prosecutors said Mosby used the money she received – $36,000 in May 2020 and $45,000 on December 31 of that year – toward down payments on vacation homes in Kissimmee and Long Boat Key.
The two counts of perjury stem from Mosby’s allegedly false statements of coronavirus-related financial duress at a time when she was earning a gross annual salary of nearly $248,000 in full, the indictment asserts.
She is also charged with two counts of making false statements on mortgage applications seeking a total of more than $900,000 in loans to buy the Florida properties. The indictment says Mosby failed to disclose federal tax delinquencies resulting in a $45,000 lien imposed by the Internal Revenue Service in 2020.
Mosby denied both sets of allegations, saying, ‘I did not defraud anyone to take my money from my retirement savings, and I did not lie on any mortgage application.’
Baltimore television station WBAL-TV cited Mosby’s attorney, A. Scott Bolden, as saying in a media interview that his client had other business interests, including a travel company affected by the pandemic, and that she had consulted with financial advisers before making the mortgage application.
According to Mosby, prosecutors refused her offer to personally present evidence on her own behalf to the grand jury that ultimately indicted her.
Mosby said political opponents ‘have had a target on my back’ since she made national headlines in 2015 by filing criminal charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a young Black man who suffered a fatal spinal injury while being transported in the back of a police van. None of the six officers charged in his death was convicted.
Mosby ran for office as a part of a movement of ‘progressive prosecutors’ promising to address systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system.
Since her time in office, Mosby has also been the center of controversy for her policies relating to the state’s crime wave, which included keeping low-level offenders out of prison.
Despite the controversy, Mosby had previously been praised by Vice President Kamala Harris for her political role a progressive Democrat in 2017, when the VP was still a US Senator.
‘When we march and we shout about what we need to do to reform the criminal justice system, we better understand that we gotta march and shout with our paychecks – and all of the work that we can do to actually make sure that somebody like Marilyn Mosby gets reelected into that office, to not only get convictions, but have convictions,’ Harris said of Mosby at the time.
‘There are a lot of people who are highly critical of her because she heard the voices of the people and said, ‘Even if I can’t win I’m going to do the right thing.’ It’s going to be rough. It’s going to be tough. … She cannot fail and I know she will not fail,’ Harris added.
Mosby also noted that ‘there would be no Marilyn Mosby without Kamala Harris,’ deeming her an inspiration.
Mosby’s initial appearance hasn’t been scheduled yet, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The two perjury counts she faces each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and the two mortgage-related counts each carry a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Mosby is a high-profile prosecutor who has aligned herself with criminal-justice reformers.
She had become one of the youngest law enforcement chief officers in 2014 at the age of 34.
The indictment of Mosby comes months after news outlets reported that federal officials subpoenaed the Maryland State Board of Elections seeking business and campaign finance records related to the couple dating back to 2014.
An attorney representing the couple alleged misconduct by federal prosecutors in a letter to the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility and sought a suspension of the criminal investigation into the couple. Nick Mosby has not been charged with any crimes.
‘We will fight these charges vigorously, and I remain confident that once all the evidence is presented, that she will prevail against these bogus charges – charges that are rooted in personal, political and racial animus five months from her election,’ said A. Scott Bolden said in a statement on Thursday night.
Mosby’s spokeswoman Zy Richardson also sent out a statement on her behalf.
‘State’s Attorney Mosby and the office remain completely focused and wholly committed to serving the citizens of our city,’ she said.
‘Our leadership and our frontline prosecutors are some of the best in the world and we will not be distracted or sidetracked from our mission to make Baltimore a safer community.’
Since taking office, Mosby has been no stranger to controversy as she had been criticized last year after she had stopped prosecuting misdemeanor cases in order to keep jails from overcrowding during the pandemic.
This decision came amid a rising violent crime surge in Baltimore which saw over 300 homicides last year.
She was also targeted by Governor Larry Hogan who blamed her for the city’s escalating crime rate over the years.
‘We have a prosecutor in Baltimore City who refuses to prosecute violent criminals and that’s at the root of the problem,’ Hogan said, according to the Washington Post.