Alina Habba reveals her new role on Trump’s legal team: ‘Spitting the truth’

Alina Habba said she will now serve as the former president’s ‘legal adviser’ so that she can give ‘people facts they may not be hearing while he’s in court’

Kelly Rissman
Tuesday 16 April 2024 17:44 BST
E Jean Carroll’s team describes Trump lawyer Alina Habba’s courtroom behavior

Donald Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba has rebranded herself as a “legal adviser” to the former president as he goes on criminal trial for the first time in his hush money case.

Mr Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records related to the so-called hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has repeatedly denied the affair.

While Ms Habba is not representing Mr Trump in the hush money case, she was on his legal team for the E Jean Carroll civil case.

Mr Trump lost that case and was forced to pay Ms Carroll a massive sum in damages.

But, on the first day of his historic criminal trial in New York, Ms Habba announced that she is serving as his legal adviser and will now be speaking on his behalf since he is subject to a gag order.

Speaking on “The Benny Show” on 15 April, Ms Habba said: “I plan, for the next six weeks, to truly just be spitting the truth and giving people facts they may not be hearing while he’s in court.”

Ms Habba suggested she isn’t representing him because she isn’t a criminal attorney, “but the great news is, then I can do this and let everybody know what’s actually happening”.

The attorney slammed the hush money trial – which entered its second day of jury selection on Tuesday – calling it the “ultimate sham of a case” and claiming it was brought out of “desperation”.

Ms Habba also claimed that, after years of investigating the case and not bringing any charges, when Mr Trump “decided to run for office again... somehow an indictment came running on down”.

Her comments parrot what Mr Trump’s legal team have argued to the judge — that this case violates the statute of limitations. That motion has already been denied.

Donald Trump, with lawyers Christopher Kise and Alina Habba, attends the closing argument of his civil fraud trial
Donald Trump, with lawyers Christopher Kise and Alina Habba, attends the closing argument of his civil fraud trial (AP)

Ms Habba also argued that Judge Juan Merchan should recuse himself because of allegations that he was not “impartial” towards Mr Trump, before making the comparison that, while she would “love” to bring a trial against New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, “that doesn’t mean that I should.”

Ms Habba then brought up her concerns with the trial happening in Mr Trump’s home state of New York.

“I’m concerned, I really am. I know what New York juries are really like…We’re in a blue state, they did that on purpose,” she said. “That’s why we’re in Georgia, that’s why we’re in Washington [DC].”

In reality, these trials are occurring in these states because that’s where these alleged crimes took place.

Mr Trump and his legal team have argued that he can’t get a fair trial in Manhattan due to the political demographic.

Ms Habba added: “I’ve lost faith in our judicial system.”

To date, she has not been particularly successful when it comes to handling Mr Trump’s legal cases.

Mr Trump was found liable for sexual assault and defamation of E Jean Carroll in a civil case in New York where he was represented by Ms Habba. He was ordered to pay Ms Carroll $83m in damages.

In a separate case launched against Hillary Clinton and 30 other defendants, a judge imposed nearly $1m in sanctions against Mr Trump and Ms Habba in what the judge called a “frivoulous” lawsuit.

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