‘Incompetent’ Alina Habba May Have Hurt Donald Trump’s Defense: Mary Trump

‘Incompetent’ Alina Habba May Have Hurt Donald Trump’s Defense: Mary Trump


Mary Trump has blasted one of Donald Trump‘s attorneys as “incompetent” for disagreeing with the judge in the former president’s New York trial.

Alina Habba is representing Trump in the civil case brought by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll. Habba clashed with Judge Lewis Kaplan in tense exchanges that saw the judge telling the attorney to “sit down.”

Habba took issue with Kaplan denying a request to have the trial postponed so Trump could attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. The judge pointed out that the 45th president was under no obligation to attend proceedings this week.

“Your Honor, clearly we are not going to finish this trial tomorrow,” Habba said. “This trial will go into next week.”

She added: “I am asking Your Honor to have the kindness that my client deserves to be with his family tomorrow and not have to choose to miss the trial that he has a right to be here for.”

Alina Habba
Habba takes questions from the press during a break from court in New York on October 17, 2023. She is now representing Trump in a civil trial involving former columnist E. Jean Carroll
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/Getty Images

Kaplan told Habba that ” nobody is stopping him from doing either” and denied the application, asking Habba to sit down.

Habba responded by telling Kaplan she does not like “to be spoken to in that way. She continued: “I’m not going to speak to Ms. Kaplan like that. I will not speak to you like that. I am asking Your Honor to please refrain from speaking to me in that manner.”

Carroll’s lawyer is Roberta Kaplan, no relation to the judge.

After Kaplan again told Habba to take her seat, Trump could be heard saying “nasty guy.”

Mary Trump said previous exchanges between Kaplan and Habba were “bad for Donald and his incompetent attorney.”

After Kaplan denied a number of pre-trial requests from Trump’s lawyers, Habba was recorded as saying “I don’t know how to try this case, Your Honor.”

Kaplan said: “I have heard you, I have considered what you have to say and I have ruled… In my courtroom, when the ruling is made that is the end, not the beginning of the argument.”

Trump has previously called Habba a “warrior” and a “great lawyer.”

“She has done an incredible job and has tremendous courage,” Trump told the New York Young Republicans Gala in December last year.

Trump himself also fell foul of the judge’s patience, talking through part of Carroll’s testimony and calling the trial a “witch hunt.”

Kaplan said: “Mr. Trump has the right to be present here. That right can be forfeited and it can be forfeited if he is disruptive, which what has been reported to me consists of.

“I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial.”

Trump said he would “love it” if this occurred.

The Republican presidential candidate is on trial to determine how much he owes Carroll in damages after a jury ruled last year had sexually assaulted and defamed Carroll.

Trump says “he never met, saw, or touched” Carroll and has denied sexually assaulting her at a Bergdorf Goodman department store in the 1990s in New York.

Habba, meanwhile, had already faced some criticism after legal experts questioned if she had violated a gag order.

Newsweek has approached her office via email for comment.

Last week, Kaplan issued an order that said Trump could not discuss: DNA; funding for litigation; Carroll’s previous romantic relationships and sexual experiences; Carrol’s choice of counsel and “suggesting or implying” that Trump did not sexually abuse her.

Trump cannot say he did not make statements in 2019 “with actual malice,” or that Carroll lied about being sexually assaulted, Kaplan wrote.

Habba began her argument by saying “President Trump defended himself,” before she was cut off.

Former Department of Justice (DOJ) litigator Gene Rossi told Newsweek: “Trump’s lawyer may have possibly put her toe in the water, if not in her foot in her mouth, with a comment that tested the trial judge’s patience.

“Yet, at the end of the day, the judge may stand down, not take the bait, and let the trial play out.”