Trump Lawyer's Claim About FBI Raid Rejected By Fellow Attorneys: 'False'

Legal professionals have spoken out with corrections following claims made by Donald Trump's attorney on Saturday.

Alina Habba, a New Jersey attorney currently working on behalf of the former president, appeared on the conservative new station, Newsmax TV, on Saturday. During her time, she discussed the particular statute cited in the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago, claiming that it is a seldom-used law employed only for political ends by the Biden administration.

"In a hundred years, they have never used this statute," Habba claimed. "It's antiquated, it's old, it doesn't exist for any purpose other than true espionage. But leave it to the Biden administration to put it into place against President Trump because he's leading in the polls."

The statute that Habba referred to is 18 U.S. Code 793, which is located under the "Espionage and Censorship" section of U.S. law. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the section "applies to activities such as gathering, transmitting to an unauthorized person, or losing, information pertaining to the national defense, and to conspiracies to commit such offenses."

donald trump lawyer statute
Above, a shot of former President Donald Trump at a rally in 2016. Trump's lawyer received pushback online after claiming that the statute cited in the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago has not been used in 100 years. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Habba's comment began to circulate online after the segment aired and drew pushback from numerous legal professionals, who counter-claimed that her take on the statute was false. Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor and current columnist for Politico, said that Habba should know better.

"I'm not sure Alina Hanna knows better, but anyone who conducts a basic internet search can confirm that her claims are false," he wrote in a tweet.

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI special agent and lawyer, went a step further and cited charges under the statute made against an FBI worker last year.

Rangappa's tweet included screenshots of documents laying out the case against the employee, Kendra Kingsbury, who worked at the Bureau's Kansas City Division as an intelligence analyst. In May of last year, she was indicted for illegally removing documents pertaining to national security and keeping them in her home, according to the DOJ's official news release. Kingsbury reportedly engaged in this behavior from 2004 through 2017.

"As an intelligence analyst for the FBI, the defendant was entrusted with access to sensitive government materials," Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers with the DOJ's National Security Division explained. "Kingsbury is alleged to have violated our nation's trust by stealing and retaining classified documents in her home for years. Insider threats are a significant danger to our national security, and we will continue to work relentlessly to identify, pursue and prosecute individuals who pose such a threat."

Newsweek reached out to Trump's office for comment.