Donald Trump’s attorney and acolyte, Alina Habba, has effectively withdrawn from the civil lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, who has accused the former President of sexual assault.
This announcement comes less than two weeks after Habba and her client were fined nearly $1 million by a Florida judge for wasting the court’s time with legal frivolity.
“Here, we are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose,” District Judge Donald Middlebrooks wrote.
Carroll’s legal team responded to the change in a letter to presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan after receiving correspondence from Habba’s firm informing the plaintiff they would no longer be representing the defendant.
“At least in principle, we have no objection to Defendant’s decision to change counsel,” Carroll’s legal team wrote to presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan. “However, we are concerned that Defendant may seek to use this late-stage substitution of counsel as yet another tactic to attempt to delay the proceedings—this time, as the parties prepare for trial.”
“As Your Honor has previously recognized, Defendant’s litigation tactics “strongly suggest that he is acting out of a strong desire to delay any opportunity plaintiff may have to present her case against him,” the statement continued.
In correspondence to the court on Tuesday, Habba denied the transition is an attempt to avoid accountability.
We write in response to the letter submitted earlier today by the plaintiff. E. Jean Carroll (*Plaintiff). regarding the notices of appearance filed by incoming defense counsel. Tacopina Seisel & DeOrco, P.C. Contrary to Plaintiff’s contention, the transition of counsel is not in any way intended to delay or hinder the adjudication of this action.
MORE: Alina HABBA indicates she no longer represents Trump in the E. Jean Carroll matter.
This comes shortly after a federal judge in Florida sanctioned her and Trump nearly $1 million for filing frivolous litigation. https://t.co/rqaNt1Fxea pic.twitter.com/JFyJmCJsUR
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 1, 2023
Not only is the timing of the controversial attorney curious, but the former President’s choice of replacement is even more curious.
High-profile attorney, Joe Tacopina – who has represented the likes of rapper Meek Mill, and former New York Yankee player, Alex Rodriguez – is also the defense counsel for convicted Jan. 6th insurrectionist, Julian Khater.
Khater was recently sentenced to 80 months in prison for his role in the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick – whom Khater admitted to spraying with a toxic chemical during the attack.
Tacopina lists Fox News host Sean Hannity, the billionaire hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, and the now-deceased radio shock jock Don Imus, as clients.
Habba has been on a losing streak when it comes to representing Trump and judges are getting fed up.
The decision to fine the attorney in addition to her client is an indictment on those in the legal profession who ignore their ethics oath and willfully disregard the integrity of the judicial process with baseless litigation when they should seemingly know better.
But the writing’s on the wall.
Shortly after being held accountable by Judge Middlebrooks, Trump formally withdrew two complaints filed against New York Attorney General Letitia James in an attempt to derail her ongoing $250 million civil suit against the Trump Organization for defrauding the state with bogus financial disclosures.
Some could say that Mr. Tacopina is a definite legal upgrade from a former parking lot lawyer and bigot.
Habba is alleged to have referred to AG James as a “Black Bitch,” and according to a lawsuit filed by the attorney’s former legal assistant, Na’Syia Drayton, Habba not only used the ‘N-word in her presence, but was flip about racial stereotypes and tropes aimed at the Black community.
“You people like fried chicken,” Drayton was reportedly told by her boss when told to order lunch for the office staff.
For over three years, author E. Jean Carroll has stood tall despite attempts to smear her name and denigrate her reputation and integrity by Donald Trump.
The State of New York’s recent reinstatement of the Adult Survivors Act means that time is official on Carroll’s side as she seeks civil recourse for the trauma caused by the assault and the aftermath of coming forward.
If there’s one consolation, the former President’s new legal team failed to keep Officer Sicknick’s assaulter from prison.
May Trump face the same fate.
H/T Kyle Cheney at Politico
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick