Rudy Giuliani is a tie that binds President Donald J. Trump and a troubled lawyer named John M. Pierce, who is defending Kyle Rittenhouse. Giuliani has seen things go from bad to worse as the President’s personal lawyer; Rudy also saw Pierce’s firm, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, take a dramatic nosedive after picking up Rudy as a client. Giuliani is not the only connection Trump and Pierce have in common, they’re both involved in “FightBack” solicitation of legal funds that some view as questionable.
Legal Challenges to the Election
Trump is soliciting legal funds to contest an election which many believe constitutes a decisive repudiation of his presidency. The President’s refusal to accept defeat is perhaps consistent with what his detractors see as juvenile and malignantly narcissistic behavior exhibited throughout his presidency.
The White House solicitations have claimed in part: “This Election is Far from Over,” “Bad things happened which our observers were NOT allowed to see,” and “We need YOU to FIGHTBACK.” That scary “bad things happened,” which nobody actually saw or can detail, is a microcosm of so many examples of Trump’s operations, bloviating hot air supported by nothing. It is a Donald J. Trump hallmark.
Based on the legal challenges thus far, this latest gambit appears to be straight out of the “Don the Con” playbook. For example, Trump filed a challenge in Nevada. The Nevada Attorney General responded: “This six-page complaint they filed late last night is, in a word: garbage.” As another example, a postal worker has recanted allegations of voter fraud cited by the Trump campaign.
The potential for a Trump grift is evident from what the Wall Street Journal has said is the “fine print on the solicitations.” Specifically, the Journal reported: “President Trump is racing to raise money for an ‘official election defense fund.’ But the fine print on the solicitations tells a different story: Half — or more — of any contribution will be used to retire debt from his re-election campaign.”
The “Full Clown Car” feel of the Trump legal play is buoyed by the role of non-lawyer, and intellectual lightweight Eric Trump, as well as Rudy Giuliani holding a press conference, in a parking lot, between a sex shop and a crematorium. Apparently, the crack Trump “Legal” Team was unable to distinguish between Four Seasons Total Landscaping and the Four Seasons Hotel.
Lawyers from Jones Day and Porter Wright Express Concerns
Trump apparently now has legitimate law firms involved, Jones Day and Porter Wright Arthur & Morris LLP, yet issues have surfaced. According to Vanity Fair:
“Lawyers at two top law firms—Jones Day and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur—representing President Donald Trump in his numerous election lawsuits are raising concerns about their employer’s role in helping him undermine the election, infighting, the New York Times reports, that has intensified in the midst of Trump’s dangerous lies about a ‘rigged’ race and unfounded claims of voter fraud.”
Corporate lawyers expressing ethical concerns is noteworthy.
FightBack for Kyle Rittenhouse
“FightBack” has also been the rallying cry for donations for the defense of Kyle Rittenhouse. Speculation continues that Rittenhouse is being exploited for financial reasons. We previously asked if Rittenhouse is being used a pawn in a Trumpian political game.
The moment word spread that John Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge was involved, the Rittenhouse fundraising efforts came under heavy scrutiny. Pierce’s was widely exposed as having issues with substance abuse and massive debt, including a $65 million reported debt from his law firm to a litigation funder Virage Capital Management, as well as Pierce, as of November 2019, owing over $1 million in taxes, $90,000 to Citibank and $27,000 to his ex-wife’s mother. Pierce has also been accused of breaching child support obligations; in addition to having two domestic violence restraining orders entered against him.
In a colorful 60-second interview clip, seasoned attorney Robert Barnes opined that Pierce is “incompetent,” and that the Rittenhouse fundraising is an “open scam.”
The Art of the Steal?
In his book The Art of the Deal, Trump says: “You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.”
It is a quote that resonates with Trump’s overall presidency and perhaps may prove applicable to the Trump and Rittenhouse “Fightback” fueled fundraising efforts.
@DonLew87 on Twitter