Alina Habba Reawakens Severe Doubts About Her Legal Education

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Donald Trump’s lawyer is complaining that her client is being denied due process because he can’t attend all of his legal proceedings.

Alina Habba slammed Judge Juan Merchan Monday night for not making a special exception to allow Trump to attend the Supreme Court case on presidential immunity in Washington, D.C. She insisted that refusing to do so violated a basic right outlined in the Constitution.

“Not even allowing a person due process, the right to go sit in front of the Supreme Court and hear a case that determines many lawsuits that are currently against President Trump on immunity,” Habba complained to Fox News’s Sean Hannity.

“Due process” simply means that legal proceedings must be carried out according to certain rules. Trump is getting due process by going to trial over alleged hush-money payments. Due process does not guarantee him the right to go sit in the Supreme Court.

Another issue is that New York state law requires a criminal defendant to attend every day of their trial unless they receive an exception from the judge. Trump’s hush-money trial began Monday, with Merchan outlining that requirement. Merchan also noted that it was too early to say if Trump could attend his son Barron’s high school graduation.

Trump and his fellow Republicans may finally be realizing that even a former president is subject to the same laws and rules as every other criminal defendant. This is Trump’s first criminal trial, and he can’t expect to continue his life as normal while the trial is ongoing, even if that means less traveling around the country campaigning or celebrating. And he’s not completely restricted: Trump can still be on the campaign trail every weekend, evening, and Wednesday as long as the case continues.

The schedule of the trial, and how it conflicts with the other legal proceedings, can hardly be considered a constitutional question. In fact, it is in large part due to Trump’s legal strategy: repeatedly delaying proceedings as long as possible to hopefully push decisions about him until after Election Day, which might not even work out in his favor.

And it’s not the first time that Habba has seemingly failed to grasp important pieces of the law. During Trump’s defamation trial in January, she repeatedly failed to understand courtroom procedure and spoke out of turn, and was admonished by Judge Lewis Kaplan several times.