Special Counsel to the President Kellyanne and well-regarded Washington, D.C, attorney George Conway must have an interesting marriage. She is one of the top advisers to Donald Trump. Her husband rips Trump with some regularity.
According to the man in this power relationship, Donald Trump has a boatload of trouble with his attorneys. Certainly, George Conway knows the situation, given that he has the closest ear to the ground in the nation’s capital. In Sunday’s The Washington Post:, he wrote an op-ed that was not kind to the president.
His first answer was “This is what happens when you don’t pay your legal bills,” according to the Washington Post:
‘President Trump, whose businesses and now campaign have left a long trail of unpaid bills behind them, has never discriminated when it comes to stiffing people who work for him. That includes lawyers — which is part of the reason he found the need to make some curious last-minute tweaks to his team, announcing the addition of the legal odd couple of Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth W. Starr.’
Then, Mr. Conway said “Trump couldn’t find a high-end law firm” to take him on after Robert Mueller III came on a special counsel. Then, there was the president’s history of making law firms “eat bills for millions:”
‘The president has consistently encountered difficulty in hiring good lawyers to defend him. In 2017, after Robert S. Mueller III became special counsel, Trump couldn’t find a high-end law firm that would take him as a client. His reputation for nonpayment preceded him: One major Manhattan firm I know had once been forced to eat bills for millions in bond work it once did for Trump. No doubt other members of the legal community knew of other examples.’
Next, Conway added another problem that Trump had “never taking direction” from his attorneys. Then, he added taking on Trump would “kill their recruiting efforts” for “top law students:”
‘Of course, being cheap wasn’t the only reason Trump struck out among the nation’s legal elite. There was the fact that he would be an erratic client who’d never take reasonable direction — direction as in shut up and stop tweeting. Firms also understood that taking on Trump would kill their recruiting efforts: Top law students of varying political stripes who might be willing, even eager, to join a firm that provides pro bono representation to murderers on death row, want nothing to do with Trump.’
Conway said that even attorneys for “murderers on death row want nothing to do with Trump.” That was why Trump had to pull together a “random patchwork of counsel:”
‘That left Trump to be personally defended in the Mueller investigation by a random patchwork of counsel, including Jay Sekulow, a lawyer specializing in religious liberty cases, and John Dowd, a Washington solo practitioner who, according to Bob Woodward, viewed Trump as a “f—ing liar.” (Dowd denies that.) Last but not least, Trump had the assistance of Rudolph W. Giuliani — who has done more than anyone other than Trump himself to get Trump impeached.’
Then, he pointed out the difference from President Bill Clinton’s “top-notch law firms defending him:”
‘Contrast that unimpressive crew with the team assembled by President Bill Clinton, who had not one, but two, top-notch law firms defending him: global powerhouse Skadden Arps, with heavy-hitter Bob Bennett, to handle the Paula Jones case; and the elite Washington defense firm, Williams & Connolly, led by the brilliant David Kendall, to handle the Whitewater investigation, its Monica Lewinsky spinoff and impeachment.’
The writer of this op-ed claimed the president took on “the legal odd couple” of Harvard law professor Dershowitz and the former Federal Appeals Court Judge Starr:”
‘Precisely because he never had a defense team truly suited for the task at hand, Trump found the need now to add to the mix. But the mix still makes no sense. On the team, as of Friday, are the legal odd couple of Harvard Law School professor emeritus Dershowitz and former federal appeals court judge Starr. It’s hard to see how either could help.’
Conway considered Dershowitz a “genius in some ways.” Yet, he said that the attorney has taken on positions “pretty close to indefensible:”
‘Dershowitz may be a genius in some ways, but he’s not necessarily the advocate you want on your side. Judges have told me they find him condescending in manner and tone — not the approach you want before a court consisting of 100 U.S. senators. And he’s wont to make off-the-wall arguments. As his Harvard colleague Professor Laurence Tribe has put it, Dershowitz “revels in taking positions that ultimately are not just controversial but pretty close to indefensible.” Dershowitz’s recent assertion that the Supreme Court could order the Senate not to conduct an impeachment trial illustrates the point. Not only is that claim indefensible — it’s also ridiculous.’
After that, Conway said Clinton’s case was “hardly helpful for Trump:”
‘And then there’s Starr. I know and like Starr, but I can’t comprehend what he’s doing here. He’s best known as the independent counsel whose investigation led to the impeachment of Clinton. That’s hardly helpful for Trump, because Clinton was a piker compared with Trump.’
Then, Kellyanne Conway’s husband brought his op-ed to a close with a summary of POTUS’ crimes “extorting a foreign nation by cutting off federal military funds,” to win a presidential election, and blocking witness testimony and documents:”
‘Clinton’s core offense was to obstruct a private civil action about pre-presidential conduct and cover up sexual misconduct — none of which had involved abuse of presidential power. From a constitutional standpoint, that’s a trifle compared with extorting a foreign nation by cutting off federal military funds in an effort to interfere with an upcoming U.S. presidential election. As if that were not enough, in the Clinton case, Starr argued that Clinton had committed an impeachable offense by blocking witness testimony and documents. Oops.’
As George Conway said “any litigator” that Trump added at the last moment would result in “chaos” but that was the “representation he deserves.”
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.