Alina Habba Might Have Broken Donald Trump’s Gag Order

Alina Habba may have broken the gag order in former President Donald Trump’s hush-money criminal trial by disparaging adult film star Stormy Daniels on air.

The trial centers on allegations that Trump falsified records at his company to hide the nature of payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to his then-lawyer Michael Cohen to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters. Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with the payments and has denied all wrongdoing.

On May 7, after Daniels testified about an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006, Habba appeared on Hannity—where she was described in a Fox News chyron as Trump’s legal spokesperson—and seemed to attack Daniels’ credibility.

“When you have inconsistencies with any witness, it speaks volumes,” Habba said. “When you pick people who are not credible, it speaks volumes.”

Political commentators have pointed out that Habba’s comments may amount to a violation of the gag order imposed on Trump, which bars him from making or directing others to make public statements about jurors, witnesses and others connected to the case.

Former President Donald Trump's attorney Alina Habba
Former President Donald Trump’s attorney Alina Habba, center, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on May 7. Habba’s comments about Stormy Daniels could amount to a violation of a gag order in the case.

Curtis Means/Pool-AFP via Getty Images

The gag order does not apply to Judge Juan M. Merchan, who is overseeing the trial, or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office is bringing the case. The judge fined Trump $1,000 for his 10th gag order violation Monday and warned him that any future violations could land him in prison. Merchan also fined Trump $9,000 for his previous nine violations of the order.

In her appearance on Hannity, Habba railed against “salacious” information being presented to jurors.

“They went ahead and put salacious information that was frankly false,” she said. “We know that from words that were said prior to this trial and now we’re sitting here scratching our heads wondering where taxpayer dollars are going.”

Newsweek has contacted Habba and Bragg’s office for comment via email.

On X, formerly Twitter, Ben Meiselas, a co-founder of the liberal media company MeidasTouch, wrote, “This appears to be a gag order violation. Habba’s title is Trump’s ‘legal spokesperson.’ The gag order also restricts Trump from ‘directing others’ to make statements like this about witnesses in addition to Trump making statements.”

In another post, Meiselas wrote: “Why would having your paid spokesperson attack a witness who is currently on the witness stand be any different than you making a social media post about the witness for purposes of the gag order. If anything I think it’s even worse to have your official spokesperson seek to intimidate witnesses on cable tv while you pay her to do so.”

The MeidasTouch account also said in a series of X posts that Habba’s comments amounted to a violation of the gag order.

In one post, the outlet said Habba could not “claim plausible deniability,” having said in a recent appearance on Fox News that she could not speak about certain things on air because of the gag order.