Donald Trump has asked a judge to fine lawyers who released parts of a statement revealing his fears of being hit by protesters with “dangerous” fruit.
The ex-president’s testimony — given in a lawsuit alleging his security forces attacked protesters outside Trump Tower in 2015 — was released last week by attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case.
Trump attorney Alina Habba accused the attorneys of acting in “malicious conduct” when she filed a motion to sanction over the move.
The publication of the 60-page deposit transcript was “a blatant attempt to attract undue media attention and irreparably spoil the potential jury pool,” she accused.
“In short, plaintiffs’ counsel improperly attempted to arm the media against the defendants in this matter,” reads the filing, filed with the Bronx Supreme Court late Friday.
In the October statement, Trump said he was concerned about being hit by a tomato or pineapple at rallies, claimed it could be deadly, and instructed his team to “take out” any fruit slingers.
“Well, a tomato, a pineapple, lots of other things they throw,” read the transcript. “Yes, if security saw that, I would say that you – and not just me, but other people in the audience – must be badly injured.
“Yes, I think they have to be aggressive to prevent that,” Trump said. “Because if that happens, you can be killed if that happens.”
Habba noted that Trump’s legal team had “pre-warned” the protesters’ lawyers to keep the transcript under wraps until the trial.
Both sides are trying to delay the trial – which was due to begin Monday with jury selection – with plaintiffs claiming they need more time to gather testimony from Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen.
It recently emerged that Cohen claimed he overheard Trump telling his staff to “get rid of” the protesters, contradicting his affidavit that he only found out about the demonstration about a day later.
Habba said Cohen will now have an opportunity to read Trump’s testimony and “tailor his answers” in his own upcoming testimony, which would harm her client.
She also claimed that the protesters’ lawyers were attempting to “ambush” Trump by attempting to add Cohen as a witness on the eve of the trial.
“Mr. Cohen, a convicted perjurer, is an outspoken critic of [Trump] with a well-documented vendetta against him,” Habba claimed in the filing.
“The press, Mr. Cohen, and a potential jury pool can now access and review witness statements weeks before the trial begins,” she wrote in the court filings.
Habba asked the court to compel the plaintiff’s side to pay some attorneys’ fees and “an additional fine … to punish plaintiff’s attorney for bad faith conduct,” the court documents said.
Benjamin Dictor, a lawyer for the protesters, told The Post: “The defendants’ file is full of errors of fact and law and we will respond accordingly in a court filing.”
https://nypost.com/2022/05/02/trump-asks-judge-to-punish-lawyers-who-released-fruit-fears-testimony/ Trump is asking the judge to ‘punish’ lawyers who released testimony about fruit scares