As excited as some may get over the idea of President Donald J. Trump facing lawsuits over the various infringements he’s committed against the very core of America’s foundation, one fact remains: Trump is no stranger to lawsuits. He’s been suing, countersuing, and defending himself in lawsuits since the 70s.
In fact, USA Today found that over a 30-year period, Trump has been involved in 4,095 court proceedings that ranged from real estate, personal injury, defamation, unpaid taxes, and cases related to his presidential campaign. Trump is by no means a stranger to court proceedings, procedures, and litigation. With that said, he has a sharp eye when it comes to picking out lawyers who can help him win.
Throughout the years, lawyers have been compared to sharks, referred to as liars, and some have called them the scum of the earth. Even a child molester can usually find a lawyer to defend them. If nothing else, they have a public defender based on cost. With Washington D.C. being the epicenter of politicians, there are plenty of lawyers in D.C. who are well versed in political scandal. So, what does it say when even the most notorious of lawyers say, “No thanks,” to the opportunity of representing Trump? Furthermore, what does it take for a lawyer to simply draw the line at Trump?
The New York Times offered an explanation as to why lawyers would turn down a job offer from Trump.
‘The work is hard, sometimes even humiliating. In fact, the one irreducible character trait of a Trump Lawyer is that he or she is willing to take on Trump as a client, one who often either doesn’t solicit their advice or simply ignores it; who subverts their legal strategy on national television, who requires them to deny facts that he has confirmed and confirm facts that he has denied; who won’t stop tweeting inflammatory, threatening and clearly false statements. It’s a lot to ask of a professional.’
At the beginning of June, Yahoo News reported that several law firms turned down the opportunity to represent Trump after being solicited by the White House.
‘Top lawyers with at least four major law firms rebuffed White House overtures to represent President Trump in the Russia investigations, in part over concerns that the president would be unwilling to listen to their advice, according to five sources familiar with discussions about the matter.’
Obviously, defending Trump in such matters would mean great pay and the publicity behind it would be worth just as much. However, his stubborn, impudent nature is just THAT distasteful. Even better, those lawyers don’t believe they’d get paid either. One source said, “The concerns were, ‘The guy won’t pay and he won’t listen.'”
Brendan Sullivan is one lawyer who has turned Trump down. Sullivan, who is with Williams & Connolly, defended Oliver North, the former deputy-director of the National Security Council in the late ’80s. North was alleged to be involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved the secret sale of weapons to Iran to fund Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua. Out of 12 charges, he was found guilty of three; however, those were later overturned.
It’s important to note that Yahoo News did report that Sullivan claimed he did not have the time to devote to Trump’s legal woes.
‘Some, like Brendan Sullivan, said they had upcoming trials or existing commitments that would make it impossible for them to devote the necessary time and resources to Trump’s defense.’
Another one of those high-profile lawyers who has reportedly turned Trump down is Ted Olson. Olson also had his hand in the Iran-Contra scandal, as he was assistant attorney general under Reagan and counseled Reagan himself. Furthermore, he represented Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard when he attempted to have his life sentence reduced. Additionally, he aided Paula Jones in her attempt at suing former President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment. On top of that, he represented former President George W. Bush in the Bush v. Gore case that guaranteed Bush his presidential legacy. He scored a sweet deal as U.S. solicitor general afterwards. He’s also had his name thrown around as a possible Supreme Court nominee. Yet, he has reportedly turned down possibly the biggest opportunity in his career.
Though the lawyers who were contacted by Yahoo News refused to comment, sources told Yahoo News that concerns also included the fact that being tied to Trump could tarnish a law firm’s reputation. One lawyer told Yahoo News:
‘Do I want to be associated with this president and his policies?’
Featured image by Zach Gibson/Getty Images.