Nobody wants to risk their reputation by working for Trump.
If anyone needed a stellar defense team right now, it’s Trump. But his legal search continues in vain as elite, white-collar attorneys in Washington, D.C., and around the country continue to turn down White House offers to lead Trump’s defense.
“People close to Trump contacted New York attorney Steven Molo, a former prosecutor who specializes in white collar defense and courtroom litigation,” CNN reports.
And like so many others, Molo turned Trump down.
According to multiple reports, there have now been one dozen well-known attorneys who reportedly rejected White House offers since Trump’s defense attorney, John Dowd, abruptly quit last month.
Along with Molo, Ted Olson, Emmet Flood, Robert Bennet, Bob Giuffra, Dan Webb, Tom Buchanan, Brendan Sullivan, Paul Clement and Mark Filip have all reportedly turned Trump down in recent weeks.
Additionally, Fox News favorites Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing were reportedly hired by Trump to be his defense attorneys, only to quickly bow out due to alleged conflicts of interest.
DiGenova has since returned to Fox News, where he has compared special counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team to a bunch of “terrorists.”
What’s behind Trump’s failed legal search? Attorneys simply don’t want to work for, and risk ruining their reputations for, clients who disrespect them publicly, refuse to take their legal advice, and have a habit of not paying their bills.
“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 recently 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.”
The stiff-arming Trump’s been getting is remarkable — a job representing the president of the United States has long been considered one of the most prestigious jobs in Washington, D.C., legal circles and beyond.
But no more.
The reason Trump needs pressing legal advice is simple: The walls are closing in as Mueller, and now federal investigators in New York City, rapidly escalate investigations into Trump and his associates.
For now, the only attorney Trump has on Russia probe is Jay Sekulow, a constitutional lawyer best known for handing freedom-of-religion cases. In other words, he’s not known a criminal defense attorney.
Meanwhile, Trump’s legal bills are mounting and he’s running out of options.