Who is Alina Habba, Donald Trump's Iraqi lawyer?

Former US president set to appear in court over sexual battery and defamation cases

Alina Habba, a lawyer for former US president Donald Trump. AFP
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As former US president Donald Trump prepares to appear in a New York court on Tuesday, eyes are turning to his legal team.

Alina Habba, a New Jersey attorney of Iraqi origin, is not involved in Mr Trump's coming trial, but has been spearheading investigations to clear the former reality television star's name.

Born in the US, Ms Habba is the managing partner of Habba Madaio & Associates LLP. She has played a vital role in defending the embattled former leader as his legal council during his impeachment. Her efforts helped secure his acquittal.

How did Alina Habba come to work for Donald Trump?

The 39 year old joined Mr Trump's legal team in September 2021, after having previously worked at a small law firm in New Jersey, located just a few miles from the former president's Bedminster golf club.

She was brought in to replace lawyers who had worked for Mr Trump for years, including Marc Kasowitz and Charles Harder.

In a social media post on Instagram, Ms Habba posted a picture with Mr Trump celebrating her birthday with a cake.

"Starting this year with amazing patriots at the rally in Texas with the greatest presidents of all time," she said in the post.

Ms Habba is also the senior adviser for MAGA, a group that backs Mr Trump's political agenda and beliefs.

For his latest court case, Mr Trump has hired high-profile criminal lawyer Joe Tacopina to represent him in the sexual battery and defamation cases due to head to trial on Tuesday.

Mr Trump’s court appearance will kick off an intense legal battle as the 2024 Republican presidential candidate also fights to return to the White House.

What are Ms Habba's roots?

Ms Habba identifies herself as an Arab American Catholic whose family comes from Iraq and says she is "very religious".

They left the country in the early 1980 to escape persecutions against Christians.

Her father, Saad Habba, is a gastroenterologist whose work has gained recognition and several awards. Queen Elizabeth appointed Mr Habaa as an Officer of Royal Order and the Irish government has granted him a coat of arms.

He is a graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Does Ms Habba have a family?

She is the mother of two children with her husband, who works as a commercial real estate investor.

Ms Habba posted on Instagram a picture of her daughter as she got her hand signed by Mr Trump.

"Mom I am never washing this hand again," she said.

Updated: April 04, 2023, 1:00 PM