The new faces on Trump’s legal team defending him over FBI raid

Former president has an army of lawyers to fight his various legal battles – but also has a history of choosing attorneys who generated their own issues

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 16 August 2022 15:43 BST
Trump lawyer does not 'believe' that secret nuclear documents found at Mar-a-Lago
Leer en Español

Former President Donald Trump has put a trio of new lawyers on defence duty following the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago to recover sensitive government documents. However, the trio have failed to impress during their numerous right-wing media appearances, in some cases planting conspiracy theories.

The trio of lawyers are Alina Habba, Lindsey Halligan, and Christina Bobb. Ms Bobb is a former anchor for One America News, a Trump-friendly right-wing media outfit.

Ms Habba previously threatened to sue the Pulitzer Prize Committee unless it retracted 2018 National Reporting prizes it awarded to the New York Times and Washington Post for stories about alleged Russian influence on Mr Trump's 2016 election victory.

She was also sued in July by her former legal assistant, who claimed she created a hostile work environment at her office in New Jersey.

Na'Syia Drayton, the former assistant, alleged Ms Habba and another colleague seemed to particularly enjoy listening to, and rapping along with, what is generally perceived and classified as gangster and hip-hop music, to energize, motivate and otherwise “pump themselves up” prior to making court appearances," including singing the "N-word" out loud in the office. Ms Drayton was the only Black employee in the office.

According to The Daily Beast, Ms Drayton claimed that — after losing a Supreme Court appeal to New York Attorney General Letitia James — Ms Habba emerged angry from her office and yelled "I HATE THAT BLACK B****."

Ms Habba maintains that the alleged events did not happen.

Christina Cobb, Lindsey Halligan, and Alina Habba, all attorneys for former President Donald Trump, have been appearing on right-wing media to defend their client after an FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago recovered sensitive government documents. (OAN/Fox News/The Independent)

“Na’Syia is someone we love and care about and have for years. Na’Syia had never made a single complaint to anyone until she had decided to quit and ask for an exorbitant amount of money in return. I am disappointed by this lawsuit and the allegations, which are simply not true,” she said in a statement to the Daily Beast.

That case is currently in discovery.

Ms Halligan has also threatened to sue over perceived slights to her client. Earlier this year she said she planned to sue CNN for calling Mr Trump's election fraud allegations "The Big Lie”. She claimed the phrase was a reference to one of Adolf Hitler's theories, and that by using the phrase CNN was linking Mr Trump to the German dictator.

Both Ms Bobb and Ms Halligan were present at Mar-a-Lago the day of the FBI search.

The women were barred from entering the building during the actual search and seizure of the documents, and Ms Bobb later went on to claim that the FBI would have to "make stuff up" to use against Mr Trump.

During an appearance on Fox New host Laura Ingraham's show, Ms Bobb also said that she does not think Mr Trump had held onto documents containing information on the US nuclear programme. However, she immediately clarified, saying she had not actually spoken with Mr Trump about the allegations before appearing on the show and said she couldn't know for sure.

Trump lawyer does not 'believe' that secret nuclear documents found at Mar-a-Lago

Ms Habba also appeared on Fox News to shield Mr Trump and did so by pushing the baseless theory that the FBI planted information.

"Quite frankly, I'm concerned that they may have planted something," she told Fox News host Jesse Watters. "At this point who knows? I don't trust the government and that's a very frightening thing as an American."

She went on to call the seizures a "joke" and "third-world stuff."

During Ms Halligan's latest Fox News she claimed, without evidence, that the search had united Americans against Joe Biden.

"The Biden administration has united Americans against its administration, and this instant has ironically created bipartisanship on this issue," she said.

Some social media users mocked Ms Halligan's initial pronunciation of the word "bipartisan" as "biponderance," but she simply slipped in her speech and her meaning was clear.

Mr Trump’s former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had been the subject of numerous embarrassing episodes ranging from hair dye running down his head during a press conference, to the Four Seasons Landscaping incident to a scandalous appearance in a Borat movie in which he appears in a compromising situation with one of the film's actors. (He insisted he was simply adjusting his clothing and had done nothing wrong.)

Mr Giuliani is currently being sued in a billion dollar defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems for claiming the company acted in league with China to fix the 2020 election.

Another one of Mr Trump's former attorneys, "Kraken" lawyer Sidney Powell, is also being sued by Dominion Voting Systems in the defamation suit. Ms Powell and former Trump attorney Lin Wood — who has since turned on the former president — were blamed by some Republicans for costing former Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler their seats after they went to Georgia and encouraged voters not to participate in the "rigged" system. Those losses flipped the Senate for the Democrats.

Further, the Washington Post reported that a subpoena tied to a lawsuit of Georgia election system security found that Ms Powell had directed teams to copy sensitive voting data in rural Georgia counties, and that she intended to pay for collections in other states.

Mr Trump retains an army of lawyers to act in response to the vast and varied legal challenges he is currently facing. Some handled the New York Attorney General's probe into the Trump Organization, others focused on litigating the 2020 election, and his latest batch are focused on diminishing the focus on his government document hoarding.

Mr Trump has a history of turning on staff who he believes have wronged him — a trend that played out nearly anytime a staff member resigned from his administration — and even appeared to throw his own daughter under the bus, claiming her testimony to the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot was nonsense to appease former Attorney General Bill Barr.

The former president also has a reputation for not paying his contractors. USA Today found that over a 30-year period, Mr Trump was involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits in which contractors alleged he or his organisations did not pay them for their work.

In 2021, the Washington Post reported that Mr Trump told his staff to stop paying Mr Giuliani for services rendered. He allegedly shut down the payments after he had a falling out with the attorney.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in