In the forty-eight hours since news broke that the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, the country has gotten a look at the public-facing side of former President Donald Trump’s legal team.
Several attorneys who showed up at Mar-a-Lago — and some who weren’t present — have spoken up on behalf of the former President, alternately accusing the FBI of being a group of liberal, jack-booted thugs and defending Trump against any accusations of wrongdoing.
They’ve produced a mixture of conspiracy theories, gestures towards a deep state plot, and contradictory descriptions of what, exactly, took place.
Common here is the suggestion that there was no classified material at Mar-a-Lago to begin with, and that records may not even have been taken by the FBI, despite reports to the contrary. What was taken, in the universe of these attorneys, may even have been “planted” by nefarious federal agents from the “Garland DOJ.” Of course, the members of the team who were present, by their own telling, didn’t see much, as agents forced them to wait in the parking lot as the work was done.
Ahead of them all, Trump himself has led the charge and set the tone. He, too, has suggested that the FBI might have “planted” evidence at his Florida residence.
Christina Bobb replied to a question about the matter from Real America’s Voice host Karyn Turk by saying only that Trump attorneys were not permitted to see what was going on, and that security didn’t interfere.
“No, there is no security that something wasn’t planted,” Bobb told Turk. “I’m not saying that’s what they did.”
She added later that she didn’t think the FBI “would go to the extent of trying to plant information — I think they just make stuff up and come up with whatever they want.”
Bobb is a former OAN host who began to moonlight as an attorney for the Trump campaign in 2020.
According to a summer 2021 deposition from Rudy Giuliani, Bobb became part of the Trump legal team after the 2020 election, helping attorneys inflate bizarre and scattered reports of voter fraud into a mosaic suggesting a broader conspiracy.
She did not disclose her side gig to OAN’s viewers, and departed the network in March.
Since then, Bobb has taken to speaking out on Trump’s behalf. In a Tuesday interview, Dinesh D’Souza referred to her as “an attorney for Trump at Save America” — the political action committee that Trump formed after the November 2020 election. FEC records show Bobb receiving June payroll from the PAC.
She went on to offer differing accounts to D’Souza about the aim of the FBI’s search.
In one account, agents were “rummaging” for presidential records, and for classified records.
In a later account, Bobb told D’Souza that the feds wanted evidence of “potential crimes of releasing classified information or something to that effect.”
“That is what they were looking for,” she affirmed. “So they have basically turned the FBI into overzealous librarians.”
It was not immediately clear, in Bobb’s telling which “they” transformed the FBI into “overzealous librarians.”
Alina Habba, an attorney representing Trump in a lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, let loose on Fox News Tuesday night, pointing out that it’s not as if Trump stole records having to do with “Jimmy Hoffa” or which “discuss if aliens existed.”
She was visibly angry on Fox News, proclaiming that the raid would transform the U.S. into a “third world country” while entertaining the “planted” conspiracy theory.
“This is a joke, this is mo-mental,” she told host Jesse Watters. “And quite honestly, I’m concerned that they might have planted something.”
Lindsey Halligan has also been describing what took place at Mar-a-Lago. In one widely circulated account, Halligan told NBC that agents searched Trump’s bedroom, a storage area, and his office.
Halligan, like Bobb, is listed as receiving payroll payments from Save America, starting in June.
Her background is far less clear. The first time she appears in news reports on behalf of Trump is in late June, when she threatened to sue CNN during an appearance on Steve Bannon’s podcast over the use of the phrase “the Big Lie.”
“CNN branded Trump as a liar, and referred to his questions regarding voter fraud as The Big Lie, which is actually linked to Adolf Hitler,” she said in June.
Before her career with Trump, Halligan does not appear to have had a history in the practice of defamation or national security law.
A local profile lists her practice as focusing on insurance claim defense, with a focus on water, fire, vandalism, theft, and other issues that afflict residential and commercial real estate holdings. Halligan is listed in South Florida courts as appearing on behalf of local insurers, as well.
It was unclear how she transitioned to taking on Trump as a client.
Halligan told NBC that she was unaware of what documents the FBI might have wanted because, until Monday, she wasn’t handling that element of Trump’s legal work.
“If they needed documents, they could have asked. There’s never been an issue with compliance,” she said, though it’s not clear with what basis — the National Archives has been asking for its records back since at least May 2021.