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Alina Habba: Fighting N.Y. Case ‘Very Important’ to Trump

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Alina Habba, one of the lawyers representing former President Donald Trump in a civil business fraud lawsuit, said that Trump plans to be “in and out as he sees fit” during the trial in New York City. Trump has been pulled off the campaign trail to defend his family’s business.

“It’s a very big deal and it’s very important to him,” Habba said on Newsmax. “His entire life was not the presidency. The Trump Organization was Donald Trump, so this is important to him, and I think it sends a good message to New Yorkers and the world that at the end of the day, he’s a human being. He’s an American. He has a business. He’s trying to make money.”

She added that Trump wants the business he started to thrive and that he’s “worth billions more than what’s on his statement of financial condition.”

Habba spoke about New York’s Democrat Attorney General Letitia James, accusing her of “ignoring the streets of New York and is doing this, in my opinion, for political gain. [She] campaigned in 2018 on getting Donald Trump, and we’ve got the campaign video to prove it.”

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“They have nothing to hide,” Habba commented. “There wasn’t an injured party. Everybody made money. The loans were paid back. Ultimately, we have a statute of limitations for a reason. This judge is allowing things that have expired, dating back to as long as 2011. What’s the strategy there?”

She added that she would not comment on the defense’s privileged conversations, “but if you look at the decision from June, the appellate division was pretty clear on the statute of limitations … it’s our position that that’s being disregarded at this point, so we just keep objecting.”

“We’re prepared. From here we actually get to litigate the case, which as an attorney I look forward to, and I know our legal team does as well, to get to take our own turn at looking at all of the information and our own turn to put our side out, which is something that everybody needs to remember hasn’t happened as of yet. Four indictments are simply that: an indictment, which is just one-sided B.S., for a lack of a better word, on their political scheme to interfere with the leading candidate for president,” Habba said.

Meanwhile, civil liability is at issue, and in September, Engoron issued a ruling that found Trump and the Trump Organization liable for fraud, which is also the basis of James’ lawsuit.

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“We already are liable the minute before we walked in,” Habba commented. “He did it without looking at experts and without listening to witnesses. He granted that on summary judgment … we already were found liable for all of the things that they wanted to effectively accept, multiple counts of the same before we walked into court.”

Trump is currently facing civil fraud charges and Judge Arthur Engoron has taken preventative measures to ensure that he cannot make any secret moves to protect his wealth during the trial.

In a ruling issued last week, Engoron angrily demanded that all defendants in the case disclose their current ownership of and any third parties’ interests in the various businesses and organizations they control. There are other situations where forewarning is required, such as “the creation of a new entity” or “any anticipated transfer of assets or liabilities to any other entities.”

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The court-appointed monitor, former federal Judge Barbara Jones, has asked for full disclosure of the company’s financials from Trump, his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization Allen Weisselberg, and Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney within one week.

Letitia James, the state’s attorney general, is demanding $250 million in damages from Trump in addition to a ban on the president and his two sons doing business in New York.

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