Trump attorney Alina Habba hammered the Manhattan judge who is presiding over the civil fraud case being brought against former President Donald Trump by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
During Monday’s trial, Supreme Court Justice Arthor Engoron reportedly became visibly frustrated with Trump for giving long answers to questions being asked by Kevin Wallace with the NY AG’s office, the New York Post reported.
According to Guardian reporter Hugo Lowell, Engoron turned to Trump lawyer Chris Kise, “I beseech you to control him if you can. If you can’t, I will. I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.”
Habba stood and told the judge if Wallace wanted better answers, he should ask more specific questions.
The judge then shouted at her, “Sit down!”
This prompted Trump to comment, “Very very unfair trial and I hope the public is watching.”
Trump lawyer Alina Habba tells the judge that NYAG prosecutor should ask better questions if he wants more specific answers. Judge shouts at Habba to “sit down!”— Trump rails: “Very very unfair trial and I hope the public is watching”
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) November 6, 2023
On the courthouse steps after the hearing, Habba told reporters, “I was told to sit down today. I was yelled at, and I’ve had a judge who is unhinged slamming a table … Let me be very clear, I don’t tolerate that in my life. I’m not going to tolerate it here.”
“If we don’t stop corruption in courtrooms where attorneys are gagged, where attorneys are not allowed to say what they need to say to protect their clients’ interests, it doesn’t matter what your politics are,” Habba said.
BREAKING: Trump attorney Alina Habba (@AlinaHabba) explodes, describes the hellish atmosphere in Judge Arthur Engoron’s courtroom today, says she will not tolerate it, ‘I was told to sit down today. I was yelled at, and I’ve had a judge who is unhinged slamming a table. I don’t… pic.twitter.com/vP23RyXgA7
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) November 6, 2023
“The judge can tell me to sit down and he can try and shorten my client’s testimony, but it is loud and clear they’ve got nothing. They’ve got nothing but their politics,” Habba said.
She further contended the reason Engoron doesn’t want Trump to give fuller answers is because he doesn’t want the full truth getting out.
“The judge doesn’t like when President Trump explains what actually happened because it’s not good for his narrative,” Habba said.
‘FULFILLS THE NARRATIVE’: Judge in Trump civil fraud trial seen smiling as former president’s case gets underway. Follow live updates and developing details. https://t.co/chPB8sgKLh pic.twitter.com/puCG0T53L1
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 2, 2023
“This is a judge who clearly has an issue, if you’ve seen his behavior with me, if you’ve seen his behavior with the president today, he has a clear issue with facts that are not good for the case because he already predetermined, and I want everyone to understand … this judge decided this case in liability before we walked up those stairs,” the lawyer asserted.
In September, Engoron ruled by summary judgment, meaning before there was any trial, that Trump and his company the Trump Organization committed fraud against lenders and insurers by inflating the value of the company’s properties.
The judge is now holding a non-jury trial to decide what penalties he should impose on the former president and the Trump Organization.
James wants $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump and his company doing business in New York.
The trial could last into December.
Coming out of the courtroom after testifying Monday, Trump was pleased with comments by Engoron indicating he agreed the statute of limitations had already run on many of the charges brought by James.
“Well, I think that was very good,” he said. “That last five minutes was outstanding because the judge essentially conceded that the statute of limitations that we won at the court of appeals is in effect. Therefore, about 80 percent of the case is over.”
Trump attorney Clifford Robert elaborated saying, “So based on the judge’s comments at the end of the hearing at the end of the trial today, it would appear that he is agreeing that all of the transactions that closed prior to 2014 are now out of the case.”
An appeals court ruled in June that the statute of limitations for the case is set at 2014, the New York Post reported.
James’ lawsuit looks to the years 2011 to 2021 to seek to prove the Trump Organization lied on its financial statements.
“There’s no case here. There are no victims. The banks aren’t a victim. The insurance companies aren’t a victim. Everybody got paid,” Trump said.
“The attorney general of this state is a disgrace. Letitia James is a disgrace to our country and to the state of New York. She should focus on all of the violent crimes and the murder going on in New York, not on somebody who paid back the banks in full without a default and in many cases paid them back early,” Trump said.
Good for Habba.
She has done a great job highlighting what a politically motivated sham this entire trial is.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.