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Trump Lawyer Alina Habba Taunts NY AG James After Court Lowers Fine

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


Former President Donald Trump’s attorney and spokeswoman had some words for New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday after a state appeals court slashed her client’s civil fraud penalty by more than half to $175 million and gave him another ten days to pay it.

“I hope she took a little piece of humble pie today because that’s what was served to her, just a little, but we’ll be serving a lot more of that in the next couple of years,” Alina Habba told Fox News host Jesse Watters Monday evening.

In February, Judge Arthur Engoron issued a ruling that former President Trump and executives at the Trump Organization committed fraud by inflating the value of their assets to obtain more favorable terms from lenders and insurers. The ruling requires Trump to pay a penalty of approximately $454 million, including interest. The lawsuit, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, initially sought $250 million in damages, but later increased the figure to $370 million, plus interest.

The former president sought a bond of $464 million to cover his fines and the disgorgement for his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who were co-defendants in the case. Newsweek noted that disgorgement mandates that a party who financially benefits from illegal or wrongful acts must surrender any profits they gained as a result of that conduct.

Monday was the deadline for Trump to come up with the money, which he said he had raised. But then the appeals court stepped in and cut the fine by more than half.

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“I’ll post either the $175 million in cash or bonds or securities or whatever is necessary, very quickly,” Trump told reporters after the appeals ruling.

Meanwhile, another judge overseeing the criminal hush money case in New York ruled on Monday that the trial will start on April 15, rejecting Trump’s request for an additional delay.

Earlier this month, the judge postponed the case’s jury selection for 30 days, citing concerns raised by defense attorneys regarding the federal prosecutors’ tardy production of more than 100,000 pages of potential evidence.

On Monday, Judge Juan Merchan decided to hold the Manhattan district attorney not liable for the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s office’s delayed production of documents, ABC News noted.

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“The Manhattan District Attorney’s office made diligent, good faith efforts” to retrieve appropriate material, Judge Merchan said, adding that Trump will not suffer any prejudice due to the late disclosure.

An ABC News reporter asked Trump if he would testify at his trial.

“I would have no problem testifying,” Trump responded. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

The judge sounded doubtful during the hearing that a disagreement over possible evidence warranted a delay in the case’s prosecution or dismissal, and he described the defense’s allegations of prosecutorial misconduct as “extremely unsettling.”

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“You are literally accusing the Manhattan DA’s office and the people assigned to this case of prosecutorial misconduct and to make me complicit in it, and you don’t have a single cite to support that position,” Merchan told Trump attorney Todd Blanche, per ABC News.

“This court is of the opinion that there really are not significant questions of fact to be resolved,” Merchan said earlier about the defense’s arguments to delay or dismiss the case.

The defense claimed there had been “widespread misconduct” and “serious discovery violations” by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, and that this was reason enough to have the indictment dropped, the trial postponed, and Daniels and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen not allowed to testify.

In arguing for another delay, Blanche contended that since going over each document requires time, there should be a wait. He declared, “Every document is important.” “Every single one.”

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