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Jury selection underway in federal trial of former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby


By Adam Thompson, Mike Hellgren

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    BALTIMORE, Maryland (WJZ) — Jury selection is underway in the federal perjury trial of former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

Mosby faces possible time behind bars if found guilty of two counts of perjury. The government alleges she illegally withdrew money from her retirement account to buy two vacation homes in Florida.

Both Mosby and Jim Wyda, the public defender representing her, declined comment to WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren outside the federal courthouse in Greenbelt in Prince George’s County.

The trial was moved there at Mosby’s request after her defense conducted a survey showing a large number of potential jurors had a negative opinion of her. They argued the move, which was opposed by the government, was necessary for a fair trial.

Mosby left office in January after losing her re-election bid.

The U.S. Attorney indicted her almost two years ago, but the trial has been repeatedly delayed.

The judge allowed the case to be split into two separate trials.

At the heart of the perjury charges is whether Mosby violated the CARES Act, passed during the pandemic, which requires a job or business loss for a penalty-free withdrawal.

Mosby was employed at the time she took the money from her retirement account, making close to a quarter million dollars a year, as state’s attorney.

Mosby is expected to testify that she put money into her Mahogany Elite travel business but could not start it because of the pandemic.

Mosby said before her indictment that she never planned to run Mahogany Elite until after she left office and had not taken a single client.

Mosby has repeatedly maintained her innocence.

In court Tuesday, the judge asked Mosby to stand and face the jury pool to see whether anyone knew her.

Potential jurors were asked whether they heard about the case or had any ties to city council president Nick Mosby.

Jurors had to answer 59 separate questions.

They included whether they personally took any COVID-related withdrawals from their retirement accounts and whether they believe the judicial system is unfair and federal punishments are too harsh or too lenient.

Several jurors said they did their own research into the case. One said she had an unfavorable opinion of Mosby because of allegations she was “taking advantage” of a program designed to help those hurt by the pandemic.

The trial is expected to last three weeks with two days of jury selection and each side taking two to three days to present their arguments.

Court is not expected to be in session on Fridays.

Jury selection is underway in the federal perjury trial of former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby in a Greenbelt, Maryland courtroom.

Potential jurors will be asked 59 questions during the selection process which is expected to last two days. There will be four alternate jurors.

Mosby faces two counts of perjury on allegations that she lied to get a COVID hardship withdrawal from her retirement account to buy vacation homes.

Nineteen witnesses are expected to be called at the perjury trial which prosecutors said would take about three days to argue.

In court, Mosby was asked to stand and face potential jurors as they are asked whether they know her. The jury pool was then asked standard questions including whether they are aware of her case, know Nick Mosby, work in law enforcement or for the federal government.

According to WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren, who was in the courtroom, the jury pool was also asked if they believe judicial system is unfair and whether federal laws punish too harshly, and if they work for any group working to change the system. They were also asked if they took any COVID pandemic hardship withdrawals to retirement accounts.

Mosby will later be tried in a second trial on two counts of mortgage fraud. She allegedly lied on mortgage applications to get lower interest rates.

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