OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump continues to face persecution after leaving office, becoming the first former commander-in-chief to face criminal charges.
As he faces another looming indictment in Fulton County, Ga., an attorney and spokeswoman for the former president has attempted to put a positive spin on his situation.
In an interview with Newsmax over the weekend, Alina Habba said that just because Trump has been indicted in Democrat-heavy Washington, D.C., by special counsel Jack Smith, that doesn’t mean all is lost.
Alina Habba spoke to Newsmax TV ahead of a court appearance by Trump in the nation’s capital before U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee who has a reputation for handing down harsher-than-usual punishments to Jan. 6 protesters who have appeared in her courtroom.
Special counsel Jack Smith charged Trump earlier in the week with four felonies linked to alleged actions on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the U.S. Capitol riot.
Host Rob Schmitt initially aired a clip featuring former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova. In the clip, diGenova predicted that a convergence of factors, including Chutkan, a predominantly Democratic jury pool, and Trump’s Republican political affiliation, would result in his conviction.
“I don’t necessarily believe that, and maybe that’s only because I’m a product of a little bit more internal knowledge,” Habba told Schmitt. “I’m not as concerned based on the facts [of the case]. Am I concerned about a D.C. jury? Of course, nobody can get in front of a D.C. jury as a Republican.”
“There are processes that we can go through if we do believe that this judge is compromised or won’t be able to give a fair shake,” Habba said. “It’s a motion for recusal.
“The only issue with recusal motions — and I’m not familiar with the criminal court system — but in civil law, the judge decides whether they can be impartial … so, we’ll see how it works. I’ll leave that to our criminal attorneys, but that’s typically what you do,” she said.
“I can’t see how you could possibly be a person who donates to the Democratic Party, a person who sat on the board with the [son of the] current president and political opponent to President Trump … and then sit and oversee this case,” Habba added. “That just doesn’t make sense to me.”
On Monday, Smith responded to Trump’s lawyer John Lauro in a new court filing after the attorney made a series of media appearances.
Lauro appeared on all five Sunday shows this week to defend his client, which Smith used in his request to seek a protective order against the former president, Mediaite reported.
Smith’s response came after the former president’s attorneys replied on Monday to a request from the special counsel for a protective order to limit what Trump and his legal team can say publicly about evidence in the case.
“The central purpose of criminal discovery is to provide the defendant with materials necessary to prepare for a fair trial. To facilitate the efficient production of discovery to the defense, the Government proposed a reasonable protective order consistent with current practice in this District. The defendant instead proposed an order designed to allow him to try this case in the media rather than in the courtroom. To safeguard witness privacy and the integrity of these proceedings, the Court should enter the Government’s proposed protective order,” the special counsel said.
The special counsel went on to quote the Trump attorney from his television appearances in his request.
“The defendant’s proposed order would lead to the public dissemination of discovery material. Indeed, that is the defendant’s stated goal; the defendant seeks to use the discovery material to litigate this case in the media. But that is contrary to the purpose of criminal discovery, which is to afford defendants the ability to prepare for and mount a defense in court—not to wage a media campaign. The Court should instead enter the Government’s proposed order,” Smith’s filing added.