As the $250 million Trump Organization financial fraud trial enters the defense stage, MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos expressed surprise at the strategy that Donald Trump's legal team appears to be using — and suggested it says a lot about where they think the trial is headed.
According to the attorney, it is never ever a good idea for a client or a lawyer to criticize the presiding judge — in this case Judge Arthur Engoron — either in the courtroom or to the press after the day's proceedings conclude.
Adding the caveat that is not illegal, Cevallos stated it is better to save judicial criticisms for an appeal after the trial has concluded, just to be safe.
Having said that, he noted Trump's lawyer Alina Habba taking the extreme position of calling Judge Engoron "unhinged" last week which he claims crossed the line — while adding that Trump's team may be beyond caring.
As part of her outside-the-courtroom rant a week ago, she complained, "I'm not here to hear what he has to say," she said, quoting the judge. "Then why exactly am I being paid as an attorney?"
In his column for MSNBC, Cevallos suggested her over-the-top ranting could be a sign the Trump team has thrown in the towel.
"When it comes to making comments to the press, I would have made different choices than Trump’s attorneys," he wrote.
"I might have some unkind thoughts about a judge. I might even share those thoughts privately with my team. I would not publicly call a judge “unhinged.” But maybe Trump and his lawyers have already written this case off," he suggested, before adding, "If they think the case is lost anyway, then perhaps they figure their efforts will be perceived by Trump supporters as righteous resistance."
You can read more here.