President Donald Trump as he leaves the White House for a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, in Washington D.C on May 29th, 2018.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump is “sad” but not afraid about the possibility of being criminally charged in New York City over a hush money payment to a porn star, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.
“No, he’s not scared,” said the attorney Alina Habba, after she left an unrelated civil Manhattan Supreme Court hearing for the New York Attorney General Office’s $250 million fraud lawsuit against Trump, NBC News reported.
Asked what Trump’s state of mind has been in recent days, Habba said, “He’s sad [about] what’s going on.”
Trump in a social media post over the weekend said he expected to be arrested Tuesday on an indictment in the criminal probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
That appeared unlikely as of Tuesday afternoon since the grand jury that has been hearing evidence in the case is off until Wednesday.
The DA’s office for weeks has presented testimony and evidence to that panel about a $130,000 payment Trump’s then-personal lawyer Michael Cohen gave porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual tryst with Trump.
The probe is focused on the Trump Organization classifying reimbursement to Cohen as legal expenses in business records.
Such a misstatement could qualify as a felony if done to cover up another crime, in this case a campaign finance violation to which Cohen has pleaded guilty.
Trump denies having sex with Daniels, and says the investigation is politically motivated.
Habba, who is not representing Trump in the criminal case, on Tuesday echoed her client, the leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“As you know I’m not on the DA’s case, obviously not a criminal attorney, but I think I can speak what everyone in the country is waking up to, which is that former President Trump and possibly future President trump has been completely unfairly treated,” Habba said.
“This is is a politicization of our justice system frankly,” she said. “I hope that everyone’s eyes are open. [It] would be a great mistake to indict President Trump.”
Daniels earlier Tuesday tweeted at a Trump fan: “And I won’t walk, I’ll dance down the street when he is ‘selected’ to go to jail.”