A former White House attorney for Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s “not surprised” the former president is looking for new representation for his appeal of the defamation trial verdict, calling out Trump lawyer Alina Habba’s management of the case. Trump announced late Tuesday that he was seeking new counsel for his appeal of the $83.3 million verdict in the defamation lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll. Habba, who served as Trump’s lead attorney and frequently clashed with the presiding judge throughout the trial, handled the case “in the mafia way,” Ty Cobb told CNN Wednesday, according to HuffPost.
“She’s done his bidding. She’s articulated his political narrative of victimization and unfairness in the judicial system and made some outlandish claims, including the conflict claims,” Cobb continued. “And she lost, so she’s a loser. I’m not surprised that Trump is looking for appellate representation.”
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig echoed Cobb’s lack of surprise, explaining in a separate appearance Wednesday that when a lawyer and client receive a verdict like the jury awarded, they do often seek different counsel for the appeal.
“Here is my assessment of Alina Habba’s performance as a lawyer,” Honig said in a clip flagged by RawStory. “The good news is she is clearly passionate and believes in her client, and she is fairly effective at communicating one simple message. The downside is she doesn’t know what she’s doing in the courtroom.” Honig went on to argue that Habba “can’t even do things that you learn in evidence class” like move exhibits into evidence and uphold the rules of hearsay, citing the court transcript.
“The other thing is — and look, maybe this is an impossible task — she had zero client control,” Honig said, adding: “Allowing her client to be muttering audibly in front of the jury, to walk out during the other side’s closing argument, that is just inexcusable, and I think that’s reflected in the huge verdict that they got hit with.”