Why Donald Trump Can’t Find A Lawyer To Represent Him In Russia Investigation
President Donald Trump has had trouble building a legal team to defend him in the special counsel’s investigation on collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, and for his other controversies as well.
Lawyers Comment On Representing Trump
John Dowd, Trump’s lead lawyer in the Russia probe, resigned last week. According to new reports, at least six lawyers have recently turned down offers to represent the president.
Lawyers and legal experts have explained why it’s no surprise that nobody wants to work with Trump. Lawyers could put themselves in a position of great risk by taking on a client known for being impulsive, stubborn and who often refuses to follow orders or advice. Trump’s frequent scathing and otherwise inappropriate comments on Twitter have worried many people including lawyers.
Any public comments the president makes, online or in person, could lead to further legal troubles if any of the subjects of his attacks decide to sue him for defamation. One already has: porn star Stormy Daniels — who detailed in a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday her alleged affair with Trump in 2006 — has filed a lawsuit against Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, whom she claims called her a liar.
Robert Mueller’s investigation is entering a key phase following the subpoena of documents from the Trump Organization, as Trump has been weighing whether or not to sit down personally with Mueller for an interview. Trump has already lambasted Mueller and his inquiry on Twitter, saying it should never have been held “in the first place” and claiming the special counsel is biased because he has surrounded himself with Democrats — including Hillary Clinton supporters — in conducting this probe.
Legal experts have also explained that representing Trump currently could present a conflict of interest, since the existing clients of high-profile and veteran litigators may already be connected to individuals under investigation.
Jed Shugerman, who teaches law at Fordham University, noted anincident regarding Dowd and what was happening around the time former national security adviser Michael Flynn was ousted after it was revealed he had given misleading information to Mike Pence about meetings with the Russian ambassador. In December, Dowd claimed he drafted a tweet for the president’s Twitter account that read: “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.” The tweet appeared to indicate that Trump was aware Flynn had lied to the FBI before firing him, an admission that could bolster a potential obstruction of justice case against the president.
“It is difficult for one to maintain one’s appearance of being an ethical lawyer while trying to represent Donald Trump,” 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.”