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Rudy, where art thou?

Trump advisers are reportedly concerned over his legal representation in New York case

People close to former President Donald Trump believe he's "fallen prey to inexperienced lawyers," Axios reports, after he hired an attorney who served as general counsel to a parking garage company to represent him in his legal battle with New York Attorney General Letitia James.

"He has some lawyers that are very sophisticated with years of experience litigating," one person close to Trump told Axios, and he's now turning to "inexperienced lawyers who are just telling him what he wants to hear." 

The attorney in question is Alina Habba, 37, whose office is based near Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. A person familiar with the club's membership told Axios that Habba is a frequent visitor, and that's how she got to know Trump. His decision to hire Habba is "disconcerting to everyone around him who actually care about him," one friend said to Axios, but Trump's son Eric defended the attorney, calling her "incredibly competent."

In her own statement to Axios, Habba said if someone believes Trump "has fallen prey and is being victimized by someone such as myself, then you do not understand Donald Trump, the Trump Organization, or his family very well."  

Trump has a history of filing and threatening to file lawsuits for publicity, and people close to him say he doesn't like it when lawyers, wanting to keep some credibility, try to talk him into taking a different approach. Habba so far has represented Trump in lawsuits against his niece Mary Trump and The New York Times, as well as in two defamation claims from women who have accused Trump of sexual assault.

The former president often makes headlines because of his legal representation. He's been sued multiple times by attorneys who say he underpaid them, and after the 2020 election, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani traveled from state to state, promoting baseless claims of election fraud while attempting to overturn election results. This roadshow resulted in Giuliani getting sued for defamation by Dominion Voting Systems and having his law license suspended in New York.