By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on August 28, 2023
An Editorial Opinion
On "Fox News Sunday," host Shannon Bream asked Donald Trump's go-to attorney, Alina Habba, how his legal team plans to prepare the embattled former president for his upcoming trials in four criminal cases in jurisdictions across the country.
Trump has been charged with 91 felonies in Georgia, New York, Florida, and Washington, D.C. over allegations that he worked to overturn the 2020 presidential election, paid "hush money" to adult film star Stormy Daniels, and mishandled classified documents after he left office in 2021.
In response to Bream's question, Habba said preparing Donald Trump for the trials simply won't be an issue as Trump is "not your average person," "incredibly intelligent," and "knows the ropes." Habba said she believes Trump is well aware of the facts of the various cases and will not need to "prep much" for the trials amidst his presidential campaign.
Trump’s New York trial has been set for March 25, 2024. His Miami trial is set for May 20, 2024.
No trial date has been set in Atlanta, Georgia on Trump’s RICO Indictment and 12 other charges.
A Comedy of Errors
Contradicting Alina Habba in court today, Trump attorney John Lauro claimed the defense team needed until April 2026 to prepare for his trial in Washington. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected Lauro’s request and set Trump’s four count Indictment for trial for March 4, 2023. Trump is the sole defendant in this case.
Lauro argued that the March 4th date was unfair to Trump. "We will certainly abide by your honor's ruling, as we must. We will not be able to provide adequate representation ... the trial date will deny President Trump the opportunity to have effective assistance of counsel."
Based upon the litany of miscues and mistakes Trump’s legal teams have made since August 2022, there is no question that the former president has subjected himself to “ineffective assistance of counsel.”
However, Donald Trump, himself, chose and paid his defense attorneys.
What is the Win-Loss Record of Trump’s Attorneys?
For obvious reasons, win-loss records matter in criminal trials more than they do in sports contests. If a defendant loses a criminal case, he/she goes to prison. If an athlete loses a sports contest, he/she simply looks forward to a rematch at some future date.
What is the overall win-loss record in jury trials for Alina Habba, John Lauro, Steven H. Sadow, Todd Blanche, and Trump’s other criminal defense attorneys? A “win” is defined as a dismissal of the criminal charges, with prejudice, and/or “not guilty” verdicts. A plea deal does not count as a “win.”
Nobody knows. It is not posted on the websites for Trump's attorneys.
It appears that none of Trump's criminal defense attorneys has a respectable overall win-loss record in jury trials. Likewise, none of them has won a landmark criminal case for a high-profile white collar defendant under difficult circumstances.
What these attorneys are very proficient at is billing Donald Trump for more than $40 million in legal fees, even though they have not won one round in their respective cases.
Trump’s Judgment in Picking Attorneys is Sorely Lacking
Donald Trump is sorely lacking in his ability to pick attorneys with respectable track records for winning jury trials. He picked Michael Cohen as his New York “fixer.” Cohen “flipped” on him in the New York “hush money” case.
Trump picked Jeff Sessions as his first Attorney General. Sessions, a former U.S. Senator from Alabama, turned out to be an imbecile in the job.
Sessions was forced out of office and replaced by William Barr, who turned against Donald Trump shortly after leaving the Attorney General’s job in December 2020.
Trump is obviously NOT selecting his criminal defense counsel based upon any respectable and demonstrated track-record of winning in jury trials.
Trump's defense attorneys are "crashing and burning" before they have entered their respective gladiator pits for the criminal trials.