Trump's lawyer tried to defend him, but revealed the former president 'frequently' had guests inside a Mar-a-Lago office that held boxes of classified documents

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  • Trump often welcomed guests to the office where the FBI found top secret files, his lawyer revealed.

  • Alina Habba made the apparent admission while hotly condemning an FBI image of documents.

  • She accused the FBI of staging the image to portray Trump as careless with documents.

A lawyer working with former President Donald Trump said he "frequently" had guests in his Mar-a-Lago office where the DOJ alleged numerous classified documents were being kept.

Alina Habba, speaking on Fox News' "Hannity" on Wednesday, revealed the telling detail as she sought to defend Trump over the August 8 search.

Trump's legal team is asking for a special master to be appointed in the case to review the documents the FBI seized. As part of its response on Wednesday, the DOJ attached an image showing several files — including those marked "top secret" — arrayed on the floor of an unnamed location at Mar-a-Lago.

The photo prompted indignant discussion between Sean Hannity and his guests Thursday night, who accused the FBI of staging the image to imply Trump was careless with top-secret files and left them scattered on the floor of his own office.

But while defending Trump, Habba also made a startling admission: that Mar-a-Lago guests have regular access to the same room.

"That is not the way his office looks," said Habba. "Anybody that knows President Trump's office, he has guests frequently there."

Neither a Trump spokesperson nor Habba responded immediately to Insider's request for comment.


Habba continued on Fox News: "They literally must have gone in and taken out documents or cover letters and put it about so that the public believes that this is top secret documents that were on his floor."

She went on to say: "I'm somebody who has been in his office, I've seen it. This is not the way his office looks. They give you this appearance that you walk in and there's these top secret documents just strewn about."

The DOJ court filing doesn't claim the documents were found that way: it says they were "recovered from a container" in Trump's Mar-a-Lago office.

Analyses from The Washington Post and The New York Times indicate the FBI did arrange the photo — but as part of a standard documentation process.

The image includes a size guide and a reference marker that corresponds to some of the file names in the property receipt, the Post noted.

Still, another Hannity guest, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, said that this was not standard practice.

"In all of the search warrants I've been involved in, no-one would ever pull things out and lay them out that way," she alleged.

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