As the legal woes of former President Donald Trump mount, the quest to find quality legal counsel has increased in difficulty. That’s because no one really wants a client who is notoriously difficult to work with, will put them in questionable legal positions, and may not pay them to boot!
The Washington Post has a breakdown on the hunt for lawyers in Trumpworld, noting, “The struggle to find expert legal advice puts Trump in a bind as he faces potential criminal exposure from a records dispute with the National Archives that escalated into a federal investigation into possible violations of the Espionage Act and other statutes.” Seems the shine is really off the apple on this one:
“Everyone is saying no,” said a prominent Republican lawyer, who like some others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations.
And the well-documented difficulties of representing Trump are weighing on potential lawyers: “Ordinarily, the prestige and publicity of representing a former president, as well as the new and complex legal issues at stake in this case, would attract high-powered attorneys. But Trump’s search is being hampered by his divisiveness, as well as his reputation for stiffing vendors and ignoring advice.”
Yeah, that doesn’t sound like someone who lawyers that have… any other options would want to represent. And someone who knows all too well the downsides of following Trump’s marching orders, Michael Cohen, points out whatever upside of repping Trump there used to be, it’s largely disappeared:
“In olden days, he would tell firms representing him was a benefit because they could advertise off it. Today it’s not the same,” said Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for Trump who was convicted of tax evasion, false statements, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress in 2018. “He’s also a very difficult client in that he’s always pushing the envelope, he rarely listens to sound legal advice, and he wants you to do things that are not appropriate, ethically or legally.”
So, who’s left?
You get these guys who just live to be around him, and mistakes get made,” a lawyer who isn’t part of the team said. “These guys just want to make him happy.”
Sounds about right. And though a few attorneys with former prosecutorial experience have come to Team Trump, namely Evan Corcoran and James Trusty, many of the attorneys left don’t have the type on bona fides you’d expect for such a prominent case. Take former OAN host Christina Bobb. According to the WaPo report, “Bobb’s prior legal experience at the federal level consists mainly of a handful of trademark infringement cases on behalf of CrossFit during a stint at a San Diego law firm.” Or parking garage general counsel Alina Habba, who is facing her own legal issues. Then there’s Florida attorney Lindsey Halligan. According to her biography, her practice focuses on insurance claims and she has no federal court experience.
This is far from the A-Team, people, but they are notoriously difficult to find.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).
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