Nobody seems willing to climb aboard Trump's Titanic.
At this point, maybe Trump should just post his attorney job opening on Craigslist and see what kind of response he gets.
Because right now, in the wake of his lead attorney John Dowd quitting last week, Trump can’t find a single white-collar lawyer in Washington, D.C. who’s willing to represent him as special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation intensifies.
Over the weekend, Trump insisted that reports of his difficulty finding attorneys to represent him weren’t true.
“Many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russia case,” he Tweeted. “Don’t believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on.”
But in the last week, half a dozen attorneys have publicly turned down the chance to join Trump’s skeletal defense team. Meanwhile, White House counsel Don McGhan is reportedly looking for the exit as well.
Trump’s legal team devolved into Keystone Kops status last week after Dowd abruptly resigned out of frustration. The White House quickly announced Fox News conspiracist Joe DiGenova and his equally untrustworthy wife, Victoria Toensing, would be joining the team.
But oops, days later that was all kiboshed.
Ironically, the reason given was there were too many conflicts of interest: The Russia probe has entangled so many Republicans, it’s hard to find GOP-friendly attorneys in D.C. who don’t already have clients who are part of the scandal.
In the meantime, the only attorney Trump has dealing with the Russia probe is Jay Sekulow, a constitutional lawyer best known for handing freedom-of-religion cases. He’s not known as a criminal attorney, which Trump clearly needs at this point.
“Trump’s inability to assemble or maintain an experienced legal team could prove crippling if he is forced to square off against Mueller, a fearsome federal prosecutor assisted by ’16 of the best lawyers in the country,'” notes Vanity Fair.
The opportunity to personally represent the president of the United States has for decades been seen as the ultimate get for any white-collar attorney.
But no more.
“It is difficult for one to maintain one’s appearance of being an ethical lawyer while trying to represent Donald Trump,” Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman told the Huffington Post. “Any lawyer who has observed those episodes is going to see that joining this team at this stage runs a risk to their professional lives.”
Obviously, attorneys regularly defend clients who are guilty. What’s adding to Trump’s personnel fiasco is that attorneys are much less willing to work for a client who disrespects them publicly, refuses to take their legal advice, and has a habit of not paying his bills.
Trump does all three. Plus he thrives on chaos.
“I think everybody would agree this is turmoil, chaos, confusion. It’s not good for anything,” attorney Ted Olson recently told MSNBC, after snubbing a Trump job offer. “We always believe that there should be an orderly process, and of course government is not clean or orderly ever, but this seems to be beyond normal.”
Beyond normal, indeed.