President Trump’s legal woes of late have been hampered by a lack of depth on the bench of his team of attorneys, particularly after his lead lawyer John Dowd resigned last month because the president wouldn’t listen to his advice.
Since then Trump has met with several candidates to take on the monumental task of defending him on multiple fronts, including most prominently the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
So far none of the people Trump has met with has been brought on board, with many declining because of conflicts with existing clients in the Trump administration, where hiring a lawyer to defend you is practically the next step after accepting a job.
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Now The Washington Post is reporting that Trump has retained former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to join his personal legal team to defend him in the Mueller probe.
“I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller,” Giuliani told The Washington Post.
Giuliani has long been a close Trump supporter and has strong legal credentials from his time in the Justice Department, including time as Associate Attorney General, the third highest position in the DOJ, during the Reagan administration and as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
It’s Giuliani’s experience in that last role that must be what Trump values the most in his hiring of the former mayor. The Southern District of New York is the Justice Department branch that just initiated the search warrants that led to the raids on the residences and offices of Trump’s personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen.
The current U.S. Attorney for the district is Geoffrey Berman, a former law partner of Giuliani’s, whom Trump appointed to the position after unexpectedly firing Preet Bharara, who was reportedly involved in investigating multiple cases with links to Trump.
Having a former partner of the prosecutor going after the files of your personal attorney may be something that Trump sees as an advantage, if only for insight into how Berman’s mind works.
Giuliani is expected to take a leave from his current law firm, Greenberg Traurig, to work alongside Trump’s current attorneys, Jay Sekulow and Ty Cobb. He says he formalized his decision after having dinner with Trump at Mar-a-Lago last week.
The former mayor told The Washington Post that it’s too early for him to offer an opinion as to whether the president will be interviewed by the Mueller team and he declined to comment on the future fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein outside of saying that he thinks that Mueller “should be allowed to do his job, he’s entitled to do his job.”
Given Giuliani’s personality and love of the limelight, you can probably expect to see more of the president’s new attorney on TV than his former lead counsel John Dowd. You don’t hire an attack dog without giving him the chance to at least bark loudly.
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