Facing two criminal indictments — and counting — Donald Trump’s list of troubles is not short. But among the former president’s most pressing concerns is that his legal operation is in shambles.
Problem #1: Trump’s lawyers keep quitting: Last month, as the threat of a possible federal indictment in the classified documents scandal grew, Timothy Parlatore, a key member of Trump’s legal defense team in the case, resigned. Late last week, Jim Trusty and John Rowley, two of the former president’s top lawyers in the case, also “abruptly resigned.”
Problem #2: Trump is (again) struggling to hire new lawyers: In recent years, the Republican has struggled to hire legal counsel — many top-tier lawyers simply don’t want to represent him — and he’s facing related troubles now. The Messenger’s Marc Caputo reported on Sunday, “[S]ome attorneys who have been contacted by Trump’s team declined to work for the former president.”
The article quoted one top federal criminal defense attorney in the Southern District of Florida who said, “The problem is none of us want to work for the guy. He’s a nightmare client.”
MSNBC’s Katie S. Phang added in a column published Monday: “Any lawyer who voluntarily takes on a client like Donald Trump, who goes through lawyers like cheap Kleenex, probably needs a gut check.”
Problem #3: One of Trump’s top lawyers is being used against him: As The New York Times reported on Monday, “In the 49-page federal indictment accusing him of retaining classified documents after leaving the White House and scheming to block government efforts to retrieve them, some of the most potentially damning evidence came from notes made by one of those lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran.”
Problem #4: Trump’s former lawyers keep saying what he doesn’t want to hear: Ty Cobb, who represented Trump during the investigation into the Russia scandal, recently told The Independent, a British outlet, that he believes Trump “will go to jail” as a result of his classified documents scandal. (The former president soon after suggested he might sue his former attorney.)
Parlatore, meanwhile, conceded on CNN on Friday that the special counsel’s office had filed a strong indictment against his former client.
And then, of course, there was former Attorney General Bill Barr. USA Today reported:
Barr called the indictment against former President Donald Trump over his handling of classified documents “damning,” saying the former president’s actions were “totally wrong.” Barr, appearing on Fox News Sunday, said he was “shocked by the degree of sensitivity of these documents and how many there were, frankly.”
“We have to wait and see what the defense says and what proves to be true,” Trump’s former handpicked attorney general noted, but Barr added that “if even half of it is true, then he’s toast.”
The Republican lawyer went on to say the former president should have “just turned over the documents” when they were requested, “which I think every other person in the country would have done.”
To paraphrase an old joke, with attorneys like these, who needs enemies?