Trump lawyers say new trials needed after learning judge mentored one opposing counsel and another clerked for him

By Jen Krausz on
 January 30, 2024

Former President Donald Trump lawyer Alina Habba said that there should be "new trials" in the lawsuits by E. Jean Carroll against him because she discovered the judge in the case has close relationships with two of her lawyers.

For those who wondered how a judge could believe the flimsy story that Trump assaulted Carroll in a dressing room even though she was very vague on details and there was no physical evidence, Habba has figured out what happened.

In a letter from Habba to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Monday evening, she said that she had learned "for the first time" that he had once had a mentor relationship with Carroll's lawyer Roberta Kaplan (the two are not related).

“If Your Honor truly worked with Ms. Kaplan in any capacity—especially if there was a mentor/mentee relationship—that fact should have been disclosed before any case involving these parties was permitted to proceed forward,” Habba said, adding, “This issue is particularly concerning since Plaintiff’s other lead counsel, Shawn Crowley, served as Your Honor’s law clerk, and we were previously advised that Your Honor co-officiated her wedding.”

Breaking news

Habba said that a reporter told her on Saturday that Carroll attorney Roberta Kaplan worked with the judge at Paul, Weiss Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison in the 1990s before the judge was appointed by Bill Clinton to the federal bench.

She pointed out that during the trials, there were many clashes between Trump's lawyers and the judge and questioned whether those might have come from the judge's relationship with the plaintiff's lawyers.

“We believe, and will argue on appeal, that the Court was overtly hostile towards defense counsel and President Trump, and displayed preferential treatment towards Plaintiff’s counsel. Indeed, the rulings, tone, and demeanor of the bench raised significant concerns even before the New York Post’s investigative journalism unearthed these new facts,” Habba said.

Roberta Kaplan said in a response on Tuesday that she doesn't remember ever interacting with the judge on a case when they both worked at Weiss Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison.

A former partner at the law firm told the Post anonymously that Roberta Kaplan tried to impress other lawyers at the firm including Lewis Kaplan and that the judge was like a mentor to her.

Going after Trump's pocketbook

The jury levied $83 million in damages on Trump Friday, but now Habba and Trump are arguing that the whole thing was a sham because the judge and Carroll's lawyer knew each other and never let on.

Leftist lawyers, prosecutors and judges are hitting Trump where they know it will hurt--in the pocketbook.

Besides the $83 million (plus the $5 million from the first trial), Trump could be fined $370 million for supposedly inflating the value of his properties on financial statements and using them to get better loan rates.

Trump is constantly asking for a new trial or a dismissal for all of the cases against him, but in this case, he might have a valid point.

Between Kaplan and Fani Willis in Georgia, it really does seem like the left is out to get Trump no matter what they have to do.

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