“I am very happy with my existing team,” Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning.
Well, that’s good for Trump because he’s not getting anyone else anytime soon to help represent him in the Russia investigation. Trump now has one personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, handling the whole Russia probe while everyone else under the sun turns him down. Not only are real conservative powerhouses like Ted Olson laughing Trump off, even conspiracy theorist pusher Joseph diGenova ran for the hills just as soon as he had been named as a new recruit. The New York Times writes:
[DiGenova] had been hired last Monday, three days before the head of the president’s personal legal team, John Dowd, quit after determining that the president was not listening to his advice. Mr. Trump had also considered hiring Mr. diGenova’s wife, Victoria Toensing, but she will also not join the team.
That leaves the president with just one personal lawyer who is working full time on the special counsel’s investigation as Mr. Trump is facing one of the most significant decisions related to it: whether to sit for an interview.[…]
This month, the president met with the veteran lawyer Emmet Flood about the possibility of joining the legal team. But Mr. Trump was put off by the fact that Mr. Flood, a Republican, had represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment process, and Mr. Flood has made clear that he will not represent the president if Marc E. Kasowitz, his brash longtime personal lawyer, has any role in the effort.
Mr. Trump also tried to recruit Theodore B. Olson, a well-known Republican lawyer, but Mr. Olson has said he would not be representing the president.
Beyond Trump’s personal lawyer Sekulow, Ty Cobb is still the White House attorney dedicated to the Russia inquiry. But Cobb’s main job—supplying Robert Mueller’s team with key documents and arranging interviews with White House staff—is mostly complete at this point.
What’s left largely has to do with Trump himself and a possible interview with the special counsel, which Trump has publicly welcomed while his lawyers warned him against it, hence Dowd’s exit from the legal team.
What makes the repulsiveness of representing Trump, in particular, even more glaring is the fact that his close aides and family members aren’t having any trouble finding legal representation.
His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has hired Abbe Lowell, a longtime Washington lawyer who recently got the Justice Department to drop corruption charges against Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, after a lengthy court fight.
Three prominent current and former White House officials — the former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon; the former chief of staff, Reince Priebus; and the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn — are being represented by William A. Burck, who turned down the chance to represent the president.
Just think about that. As repugnant as Trump seems to many everyday Americans, criminal lawyers make their money representing people that many others consider corrupt, morally bankrupt, and even sinister.
And even among those hired guns, Trump is a nonstarter.