A new book on Donald Trump has written about the links between Trump and Big Law firms, including a consideration about using Jones Day to defend him during the Russia Investigation.
Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, advised Trump’s campaign in 2016 and played a major role in his administration from 2017 to 2021, including retaining Jones Day partner Donald McGahn as his first White House counsel.
The book, which is about to be published, Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump and the Corruption of Justice, written by New York Times reporter David Enrich.
The various legal issues Trump has faced and continues to face has seen him often struggle to obtain high level legal representation, including currently with the FBI seizure of classified documents from his Mar-a-Lago home.
A Guardian report on the book’s contents said that at the outset of the Trump administration, McGahn “wanted to be spending his time in the White House filling the judiciary with [conservative] Federalist Society judges and, to a lesser extent, dismantling the ‘administrative state’”.
The White House counsel enjoyed great success on the judges issue, piloting a process that installed hundreds of judges and saw three conservatives put on the supreme court.
But, Enrich writes: “What McGahn increasingly found himself and his team spending time on was Trump’s personal legal problems.”
McGahn considered that Trump should have his own ‘competent counsel’ to handle the investigation into Trump’s Russia links.
Trump reportedly met twice with Jones Day managing partner Stephen Brogan regarding representation, but the firm was concerned that the ties to Trump were likely to throw the firm into the maelstrom of Trump’s chaos.
“In the end, Brogan didn’t get the job,” Enrich writes, adding that it “went instead to John Dowd. The feeling among some senior Jones Day partners was that Trump wanted someone a bit more bombastic than Brogan as his defender-in-chief.”
Throughout his legal troubles Trump was represented by lawyers widely seen as not up to the task, including Bruce Castor, a former district attorney from Pennsylvania who gave a rambling presentation in the second impeachment trial.