Donald Trump(l), Alina Habba(r)

Shutterstock Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia (Licensed)

Bored, maybe reading, also incredibly focused: Trump attorney Alina Habba tries, fails to explain claim former president slept in court

Trump's team said the people who made the claim weren't in court. They were.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Apr 17, 2024

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba offered a range of possibilities in response to a New York Times report that the former president dozed off in the courtroom as his criminal trial commenced on Monday.

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A Trump campaign spokesperson denied the assessment by Maggie Haberman, who was in the courtroom, saying that “this is 100% Fake News coming from ‘journalists’ who weren’t even in the courtroom.”

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In interviews Tuesday, Habba similarly denied that Trump was snoozing, though she also offered a number of alternate possibilities as to what occurred.

“If anything, he’s probably brutally bored,” she told Fox News. “I mean it’s painful. They make him sit there through jury selection. The first day was procedural.”

“But no, you know, I’ve heard that report, it’s unlikely. I know him, I sat through trial after trial with him, that never happens,” Habba continued. “President Trump is incredibly focused.”

But in a Newsmax interview the same day, Habba offered another possibility besides him being bored—being a bookworm.

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“I was not there. I find that a remarkable story at best,” she said. “President Trump, you know, he reads a lot.”

“I don’t know what he was doing, I wasn’t there,” Habba said. “There are no cameras, I wish there were. But he’s been sitting there as he’s forced to, at the threat of going to jail if he’s not sitting there, for what I assume would be a very mundane day. They are going through jury selection. There were a tremendous amount of motions being heard yesterday. But no, look, I wasn’t there so I can’t comment on that. I find that to be a ridiculous thought though.”

As his lawyer, Habba staunchly defended Trump in a civil case in New York over falsifying his net worth to secure favorable loan terms. Trump lost that case and was fined hundreds of millions.

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Trump now faces a 34-count felony indictment brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. for falsifying business records in connection to hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the 2016 election. He’s represented by other attorneys in this case.

Prosecutors allege Trump caused “dozens of false entries in business records to conceal criminal activity, including attempts to violate state and federal election laws.” Many details of the circumstances have been public since 2018, when Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen was charged by federal prosecutors with campaign finance crimes committed in an attempt to bury Daniels’ claims.

During jury selection, Trump was forced to review memes potential jurors made mocking him.

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Trump and his advocates have painted the case as a politically motivated “witch hunt” designed to hurt his prospects in an election year. According to recent polling averages, Trump remains a smidge (0.2%) ahead of President Joe Biden but commands a 2.7% lead over Biden across seven key swing states.

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*First Published: Apr 17, 2024, 12:21 pm CDT
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