Trump Lawyer's Eyebrow-Raising Comment Hints at the Coming Legal Strategy

Trump lawyer and legal spokesperson Alina Habba speaks during the former president's arraignment (8/3/23). Credit: Twitter

In what has become a familiar sight, Donald Trump was arraigned once again on Thursday, this time after special counsel Jack Smith indicted him in Washington, D.C., for charges related to January 6th.


(Breaking: Details of Latest Trump Indictment Revealed, Including ‘Conspiracy to Defraud the United States’)

The former president flew into DCA where he was met by a motorcade that took him to the courthouse. While the proceedings were occurring, Trump’s lawyer and legal spokesperson Alina Habba spoke to the press. As RedState reported, she laid out the timeline of the various indictments, noting that they all happened the day after major revelations about Joe Biden’s alleged corruption were revealed.

But it was one specific clip that raised eyebrows and perhaps offered some hints as to what Trump’s legal defense will be in the case.

HABBA: Well, I think that everybody was made aware that he lost the election, but that doesn’t mean that was the only advice that he was given. As anybody understands, what happens in the Oval Office, there are a numerous amount of advisers and politicians and lawyers, not just one or two, that are giving you advice and telling you what they believe is true.

So he may not agree with Mike Pence, he may not agree with one of his lawyers, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t other people advising him exactly the opposite. And the president has a right, as every one of us do, to listen to several opinions and make their decision.


The line that has this clip going viral is that Trump and those around him were “made aware that he lost the election.” That’s a bit of an odd way to frame the matter when other members of the president’s legal team have said they intend to relitigate the 2020 election during the trial, including the idea that it was stolen. I’m not sure if that was just a slip of the tongue by Habba, or if she thought her later attempt at distinction effectively clarified the comment.

Regardless, while that’s the sizzle in her statement to the press, the steak is in the second part where she lays out that he had other advisers and lawyers telling him he hadn’t lost the election. That’s a window into what Trump’s possible legal strategy will be.

Namely, my best advice to the co-conspirators in the indictment is to prepare to go under the bus because in order for Trump to make the case that he’s not responsible for what he said leading up to January 6th, including the alternate electors scheme, he’s going to have to make the case that the co-conspirators who were advising him were the ones ultimately responsible.

To further bolster that speculation, John Eastman, who fathered the theory that Mike Pence could single-handedly overturn the election, was called out by Trump lawyer John Lauro on Wednesday as having been the one to advise the former president on the plan. That’s a pretty clear indication that Eastman will be blamed as a way to deflect liability from Trump himself.


I don’t think it’s a bad strategy either. Trump’s team has a decent argument when they say that the former president was simply listening to lawyers and advisers around him, and that his behavior was influenced by that. Whether the judge and the jury in the case agree that it makes him not culpable is another matter, especially given the jurisdiction the case is in.

Regardless, those who were around Trump at the time should be very worried. It’s probably just a matter of time before they are indicted, and it doesn’t appear the former president has a strategy of protecting those who surrounded him in the aftermath of the 2020 election.


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