Trump will be asking ‘Where’s my Roy Cohn?’
After reporting on Trump’s new lawyer Evan Corcoran, the search for a full legal team to deal with the panoply of problems the former president faces continues – but the Washington Post believes Trump’s legal cupboard remains bare.
Trump needs an experienced legal veteran who can deal with the issues ahead, particularly given the array of issues he faces from the DoJ investigation. Finding a Trump lawyer – or indeed a Trump legal team – is a proving a potential problem.
It may be that the Trump family lawyer Roy Cohn will be missed more than ever. The infamous lawyer who represented the Trump family, among mafia, moguls and other mavericks, was the man who made attack is principal defense. Donald Trump said that Cohn ‘brutalized for you’. And that is the lawyer that suited him to the ground – but where is the atypical Trump lawyer now?
Corcoran and his co-counsel James Trusty are experienced lawyers, but may not be enough for what the President now faces, despite claims that they are more than enough for the job ahead.
“The President’s lead counsel in relation to the raid of his home, Jim Trusty and Evan Corcoran, have decades of prosecutorial experience and have litigated some of the most complex cases in American history,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said. “President Trump is represented by some of the strongest attorneys in the country, and any suggestion otherwise is only driven by envy.”
The Lawyers Who Said ‘No’
Among those who have rejected the call to arms are Florida lawyer Jon Sale who worked on the Watergate prosecution but believes he needed more time and that Trump needed someone highly experienced in federal prosecutions.
The range of lawyers experienced enough to handle the federal prosecution of a former president is highly limited, but the search faces the issues that Trump provides as a client presenting considerable difficulty because of his attitude, divisiveness and varying attitudes towards taking legal advice.
While representing a former president may make a legal career, Trump’s reputation as a sometime nightmare client can also create obstacles that will be a bridge too far for many lawyers.
Attorney Christina Bobb, formerly a host on the right wing One America News, was present at Mar-a-Lago during the search and signed for the list of documents taken and is involved in the search but has limited federal prosecution experience obtained during her work with a San Diego law firm.
Bobb created some consternation on Twitter and in the media regarding the nature of the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago and the security of the reportedly sensitive documents.
Trump’s other lawyer currently based in Florida is Lindsey Halligan, whose practice is reportedly based on insurance claims at residential and commercial properties.
His friend and Harvard legal luminary Alan Dershowitz told the Post, “Good lawyers should have been working on this case for months.”
“He needs a big and good and very experienced defense team with experience trying cases.”
Dershowitz said he recommended Harvard colleague Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., the faculty director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute and the Harvard Trial Advocacy Workshop, although Sullivan said he hasn’t heard from Trump’s team.
Sullivan had his own views on the case. “The case itself presents a range of issues that would be of interest to a lot of good lawyers. Some lawyers may reasonably feel as though the public will conflate Mr. Trump’s policy aims and positions with the lawyer’s. In that way, many lawyers may be disinclined to expose themselves to the public opprobrium that would follow that sort of representation.”
Two longtime Trump top legal advisers during the Mueller investigation, Jay Sekulow and Jane Raskin, remain close to Trump but are not in his current legal team.
Former Trump lawyer during the Mueller investigation, Ty Cobb has publicly criticized the former president.