Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, criticized the Manhattan court presiding over the civil fraud case New York Attorney General Letitia James brought against former President Donald Trump.
During Monday’s hearing, Supreme Court Justice Arthor Engoron reportedly became visibly angry with Trump for delivering extensive replies to questions posed by Kevin Wallace of the New York Attorney General’s office, according to the New York Post.
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.”
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 went on to say that Engoron doesn’t want Trump to give more detailed answers because he doesn’t want the whole truth to come 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.
Engoron decided in September, by summary judgment, that Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, committed fraud against lenders and insurers by misrepresenting the value of the company’s assets.
The judge is currently conducting a non-jury trial to determine what penalties to impose on the former president and the Trump Organization.
James is seeking $250 million in penalties as well as a prohibition on Trump and his corporation conducting business in New York.
The trial may last until December.
Coming out of the courtroom after testifying on Monday, Trump was happy with Engoron’s statements, indicating that he felt the statute of limitations had already run on several of James’ claims.
“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.”
According to the New York Post, an appeals court determined in June that the case’s statute of limitations was set in 2014.
James’ lawsuit seeks to prove that the Trump Organization misled its financial records from 2011 to 2021.
“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.
That’s great for Habba.
She has done an excellent job of identifying the trial’s political motivations.
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