Trump’s attorney Alina Habba has been handed a legal victory by New York Judge Arthur Engoron in the civil fraud trial brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James against the former President, his adult sons, and the Trump Organization.
The controversy initially stemmed from accusations that Trump’s legal team, led by Alina Habba, failed to check a crucial legal box, that would have allowed a jury to determine the outcome of the trial.
This omission led to widespread criticism and raised questions about the handling of the case as reported by Newsweek 90 on Wednesday, October 11.
At the outset of the trial, Judge Engoron made a statement, noting that “nobody asked” for a jury trial, further fueling the speculation that Trump’s legal team had overlooked a crucial legal step.
However, during the proceedings on Wednesday, the judge clarified the situation, shedding new light on the matter.
“I believe what happened here is that [James] clearly checked off non-jury,” Judge Engoron explained.
This statement underscores that the New York Attorney General’s office had specifically requested a non-jury trial. Contrary to the initial assumptions, Trump’s legal team never made a formal request for a jury trial.
This revelation has significant implications for the trajectory of the case.
While the absence of a checked box might have suggested negligence on the part of Trump’s legal team, it appears that the ultimate outcome would not have been affected.
Judge Engoron pointed out that even if Trump’s lawyers had requested a jury trial, it would not have made a difference due to the nature of the relief sought in the case, which was deemed equitable.
The clarification provided by Judge Engoron has set the record straight and dispelled concerns about a potential oversight in the legal proceedings.
It is a vindication for Alina Habba, who faced scrutiny and criticism over the alleged failure to request a jury trial.
The case, which involves a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit brought by Attorney General Letitia James, is of significant public interest.
It centers on allegations of fraudulent conduct related to the Trump Organization’s financial dealings.
The former president, along with his adult sons, has faced legal challenges on multiple fronts since leaving office, and this case represents one of the most high-profile legal battles he is currently embroiled in.
The clarification provided by Judge Engoron serves as a reminder of the importance of legal precision and the potential consequences of procedural missteps in high-stakes legal proceedings.
While the jury trial issue may have been resolved, the broader legal battle between Donald Trump and the New York Attorney General’s office continues to unfold.