Former President Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, has announced her intention to file for a mistrial in the ongoing New York fraud case.
Alina Habba, representing Trump, has expressed serious concerns about the potential bias of the presiding judge, Arthur Engoron, and is set to present the defense starting Monday.
These concerns were brought to the fore by Habba during her recent statements in which she indicated that she would "soon" file for a mistrial in the high-profile case. The bone of contention here is the perceived bias of Judge Engoron, who will be the one to decide on the mistrial motion. "I can tell you that we will be filing papers to address all of those issues," Habba had declared, setting the stage for further developments.
Last month, Judge Engoron issued a gag order prohibiting Trump from commenting publicly on the case. This, as per the defense, is one of the many instances pointing to the bias harbored by the judge. A violation of this gag order resulted in a fine of $10,000 imposed on Trump, further fueling the defense's concerns.
Trump, for his part, has been vocal about the perceived bias, claiming on multiple occasions on social media and in court that Judge Engoron and his clerk hold a prejudice against him. This narrative has been a significant part of the case's backdrop, adding another layer to the complex proceedings.
Amidst these allegations of bias, the defense is scheduled to begin presenting its case on Monday, November 14, 2023. The eyes of the nation will be on Habba as she sets out to defend Trump in this high-stakes trial.
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed the lawsuit in question, accusing Trump of fraud by manipulating Trump Organization asset values. The lawsuit pegs the figure at a staggering $250 million, further intensifying the gravity of the case.
Alina Habba, in a recent statement, outlined the dilemma of their situation, stating:
"The problem is, with all of these things, such as filing a motion for recusal, which we have done twice, is that the judge has to be the one that decides: Is he going to recuse himself? Does he feel that there was a mistrial."
The timeline of the case has seen multiple significant events. Judge Engoron issued the gag order and imposed the fine for its violation in October 2023. The announcement for filing a mistrial came from Trump's attorney on November 13, 2023.
The case has been fraught with tension and anticipation from all sides. The stakes are high, as the former President faces allegations of significant financial fraud. The defense's next move, to present their case starting Monday, will undoubtedly be watched closely by supporters and critics of the former President.
In the words of Alina Habba:
"It’s a bench trial. We have one judge. And it’s the same judge that issued the gag order that has to make those determinations. So, at this point, I don’t have any reason to believe he shouldn’t after what we have learned if it’s true."