Trump Attorney Says She’s Not Worried About Jail Time for Gag Order Violations

Catherine Yang
By Catherine Yang
November 1, 2023Donald Trump
Trump Attorney Says She’s Not Worried About Jail Time for Gag Order Violations
Former President Donald Trump (C) sits in the courtroom with attorneys Christopher Kise (L) and Alina Habba during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York City on Oct. 18, 2023. (Jeenah Moon-Pool/Getty Images)

Alina Habba, attorney for former President Donald Trump, said jail time is “not even something we think about” as the trial against her client in New York heads into its fifth week. A New York judge had warned of “imprisonment” for violating a gag order he issued on Oct. 3.

“Listen, he’s protected by Secret Service, No. 1. No. 2, he did nothing wrong,” Ms. Habba told Newsmax. “So, when people go to jail it’s because they’ve done something wrong. Do we have crooked situations in and out of court? Absolutely. Could they try? Probably. But it won’t work because there is still trial process. There is still facts, and unfortunately they’re not going to win on the facts.”

Ms. Habba said the prosecutions are “all political” and that President Trump hasn’t committed any criminal acts or civil wrongs.

“I’m not worried about him, he’s not worried, and the American public shouldn’t be worried.”

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron is presiding over the trial. The judge has already ordered the disgorgement of Trump Organization and ruled President Trump liable for fraud. The judge is the sole arbiter of the trial and still needs to determine how much President Trump will need to pay in damages.

Gag Order

On the second day of the trial, President Trump made a social media post that included a photo of the judge’s principal law clerk, angering Justice Engoron. The post was deleted within the hour, but resulted in a formal gag order prohibiting all parties from making any public statements about the judge’s staff.

Weeks later, the judge was alerted to the fact that although it had been deleted almost immediately from social media, a copy of the post was left archived on one of President Trump’s campaign websites for 17 days after the order. He fined President Trump $5,000 and warned of more severe penalties, including possible “imprisonment” if he continued to violate the order.

Days later, President Trump spoke with reporters outside the courtroom during a break in the trial and named the judge, while mentioning a person sitting “alongside” of him without using a name.

He had called Justice Engoron “a very partisan judge, with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside of him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is.”

Michael Cohen, formerly President Trump’s personal attorney, had been testifying that day. Mr. Cohen had been highly critical of President Trump, likening him to a “mob boss.” He had also admitted to lying under oath multiple times in the past, including in federal court and before a judge, when questioned by both state and defense attorneys. Trump attorneys had characterized him as a “serial liar” who should be impeached as a witness.

The judge was alerted of the statement President Trump made during the break via an Associated Press article, and when he mentioned it in court as a “blatant” violation of his order, defense attorney Chris Kise said President Trump had been referring to Mr. Cohen.

During another break, reporters asked President Trump whom he had been referring to, and he did not answer.

Later that day, the judge asked President Trump to take the witness stand in an impromptu hearing about his remarks. Justice Engoron asked President Trump who he had been referring to, and he repeated his attorney’s answer that it was Mr. Cohen.

After the very brief testimony, the judge deemed President Trump “not credible” as a witness, pointing out that the witness sits in a box separated from the judge, while his principal law clerk shares the bench with him, and they frequently consult during the trial. Trump attorneys had also remarked that she had undue influence over the judge.

Justice Engoron then fined President Trump $10,000 to be paid in 30 days. According to court filings, the total $15,000 has been paid.

Trump Speaks on Truth Social

The gag order doesn’t prevent President Trump from making remarks about the judge or New York Attorney General, which he does regularly in his court appearances on social media.

His children are expected to testify over the next week, and on Nov. 1, President Trump criticized the judge for ordering this. Ivanka Trump in particular had already been dismissed from the case due to the statute of limitations, because she left Trump Organization by the end of 2016 to join her father in the White House.

“Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the legal profession!” he wrote on Truth Social.

President Trump also wrote that the prosecution’s “star witness,” Mr. Cohen, “admitted last week on the stand that he LIED, and also that your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, or anyone from the Trump Organization, NEVER TOLD HIM TO INFLATE VALUES ON FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, the opposite of what he told the A.G. in order to get this HOAX started. Therefore, on that fact alone, this Fake Case should be dismissed.”

From The Epoch Times

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