By Katabella Roberts
Alina Habba, one of the attorneys defending Donald Trump, has branded the latest indictment against the former president “election interference at its finest” and claimed her client is “under siege” in a way Americans have never seen before.
Ms. Habba made the comments outside the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Aug. 3 shortly before Mr. Trump pleaded not guilty to the four federal charges filed against him by special counsel Jack Smith relating to his efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“The fact that I’m standing here for the third time in four months is not a coincidence,” Ms. Habba said, adding that the latest indictment against her client serves as a “deflection” from other key issues happening right now, including what “the Biden family has done.”
“This is not a coincidence. This is election interference at its finest against the leading candidate right now for president for either party,” Ms. Habba said. “President Trump is under siege in a way that we have never seen before. President Trump and his legal team and everyone on his team will continue to fight, not for him, but for the American people.”
Mr. Trump has been charged in a 45-page indictment with criminal conspiracies to defraud the United States, to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding—the Jan. 6 certification of the electoral vote—and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.
Trump Has ‘Given Up His Good Life to Fight for This Country’
The four charges against him each carry prison sentences that range from 5 to 20 years.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly called the case against him a political witchhunt, noting that the indictment comes as he is currently the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican White House race.
Ms. Habba reiterated Mr. Trump’s comments on Thursday.
“A witchhunt is when you relentlessly attack your opponent; when you relentlessly attack the thing you are most afraid of,” she said. “People are most afraid of somebody that can not be bought by Washington. People are afraid of someone who is indecently wealthy and who has given up his good life to fight for this country, and that frightens a lot of politicians who are career politicians, unfortunately, because he’ll get back out there and I know he’ll be fighting for every one of us so that this doesn’t happen to us,” Ms. Habba said.
His attorney also said she believes every court needs to look at the latest case against Mr. Trump “as a whole.”
“It’s not about the Jan. 6 case, it’s about the fact that in a matter of a couple of months, we have seen them try to tie up … one individual who is running a campaign, in a campaign, running for office, for president, so that he is in court, in depositions, and distracted. So that he won’t properly run for 2024 and frankly it’s not going to work,” she said.
Trump’s Comments Were ‘Patriotic and Peaceful’
Ms. Habba further claimed her client had used the law in an “appropriate manner” to raise his concerns over the results of the 2020 election, and argued his remarks on Jan. 6 prior to the breach of the U.S. Capitol were “patriotic and peaceful.”
She also said special counsel Jack Smith had “opened himself up to a can of worms” as he now needs to prove Mr. Trump intentionally lied about the election results.
At one point, Ms. Habba drew comparisons between her client and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who questioned the results of the 2016 elections in which she lost to Mr. Trump.
“So Hillary Clinton could have a problem when she lost the election, and we could have a complete liberal meltdown as we all saw. But when we have dignified disagreements, we take them to court, we say and do things patriotically and peacefully,” Ms. Habba said. “Frankly, folks, this is not about that. This is about politics, this is about 2024. Period, the end,” she concluded.
Mr. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges against him during his court appearance Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in a brief statement at Reagan National Airport following his plea, Mr. Trump called the indictment against him a “very sad day for America.”
“When you look at what’s happening, this is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America,” Mr. Trump said.
“This is the persecution of the person that’s leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary and leading Biden by a lot. So, if you can’t beat them, you persecute them or you prosecute them. We can’t let this happen in America,” he concluded.
The next hearing for Mr. Trump’s latest case is set for Aug. 28, when a trial date is widely expected to be issued by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan.