Former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, a Democrat, has been convicted by a federal jury after she lied about the way she used COVID funds.
On Thursday, the federal jury declared that Mosby had committed perjury. This was because she had falsely claimed financial distress during the COVID-19 pandemic so that she could withdraw money from the retirement fund of the city.
Jurors returned to federal court in Greenbelt at 8:30 a.m. Thursday after receiving the case late Wednesday afternoon following instructions from the judge and almost three hours of closing arguments. The jury took up two counts of perjury and announced its verdict shortly after 4 p.m, according to local news.
In a statement released after the verdict was read, Maryland U.S. Attorney Erek Barron said: “We respect the jury’s verdict and remain steadfastly committed to our mission to uphold the rule of law, keep our country safe, protect the civil rights of all Americans, and safeguard public property.”
The former Baltimore City state’s attorney was indicted in January 2022 on perjury and mortgage fraud charges, which are going to trial separately. Mosby faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each of the two counts of perjury.
When asked for his reaction to the verdict, Gov. Wes Moore told 11 News: “No matter where you fall on this, this is a tough day for the city, and I’m just praying for her. I’m praying for her kids.”
The now-convicted prosecutor made headlines in 2020 when she threatened to arrest federal agents during the rioting that occurred during that summer following the death of George Floyd.
In July of that year, as cities burned across the country and the president looked into ways he could help quash the unrest, Mosby wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post that said it was her job, and her job alone, to ignore the rioting and let her city burn.
“Should Trump send federal agents who engage in the same illegal vigilante activities, unlawfully assaulting and kidnapping people, they will face criminal charges from our offices. The authority of city officials to prosecute federal law enforcement officials is clear. While 28 U.S. Code § 1442 provides that federal law enforcement officers may remove such charges to federal court in limited circumstances, it does not stop the local prosecution. We do not believe that the agents in Portland came close to meeting the standard required to prevent local prosecution, and officers exhibiting such behavior in our cities are similarly unlikely to meet this threshold.
Local authorities have the power to initiate an arrest and prosecution. Under our authority to defer prosecutions, we could hold off on proceeding until after the November election. Obtaining cooperation and evidence from federal authorities would presumably revert to pre-Trump norms under a new administration. In the meantime, local prosecutors would have the authority to subpoena individuals and make them appear before a grand jury. Finally, these crimes would be offenses against the residents of our respective states — not federal offenses — and, therefore, the president would have no capacity to pardon those we might prosecute. All of this is to say, we will not stand idly by while the president illegally turns loose paramilitary forces to commit criminal acts and violate the constitutional rights of innocent Americans for the purpose of energizing his base and improving his poll numbers.”
In 2021, she received national attention after she announced she would not prosecute drug possession and other low-level offenses, asserting there is “no public safety value.”
The maximum prison sentence for each count of perjury is five years.