GOP frets that ‘aggressive, loud’ NYC Trump lawyer will land White House in even more legal jeopardy
Republicans are reportedly worrying that Marc Kasowitz — President Donald Trump’s civil lawyer from his days as a reality TV game show host and real estate mogul — is going to do the president more harm than good in the fight against the multiple federal investigations engulfing the White House.
The New York Daily News said Saturday that Republican officials are concerned that the “aggressive and loud” Kasowitz is wildly out of his depth trying to defend the president in an investigation as delicate and wide-ranging as the Russia probe.
Republicans who are wary of Kasowitz say one of their biggest concerns is Kasowitz’ habit of threatening to litigate over trifling offenses and then not following through. The Daily News said that Kasowitz threatened “The New York Times with a libel suit if it failed to retract a story detailing the accounts of women who alleged Trump of groping them.”
However, the Daily News’ Adam Edelman said, “The Times never retracted the story and Kasowitz never filed the suit.”
Similarly, Kasowitz threatened to file a complaint with the Inspector General against fired FBI Director James Comey over his testimony before Congress two weeks ago. However, there was no grounds for the complaint since Comey was appearing before Congress as a private citizen. Kasowitz never filed the complaint.
Politico reported Friday night that the normal tension and chaos of the Trump White House has escalated to a fever pitch. Last week, Kasowitz told aides and staffers that they need not worry about obtaining their own legal counsel, which many outsiders regard as terrible advice.
“Pence hiring a lawyer tells the White House staff two things: They’re all potential witnesses in this investigation and don’t listen to Marc Kasowitz,” said former Clinton White House official Adam Goldberg to Politico.
Edelman wrote, “In the three weeks since being brought in by Trump, Kasowitz has already levied unfulfilled threats and reportedly bragged about convincing his new boss to fire people — actions that wouldn’t appear to help the commander-in-chief defend himself against possible obstruction of justice charges.”
According to Pro Publica, Kasowitz warned Trump months about U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, saying, “This guy is going to get you.”
At the time of his firing, Bharara was pursuing an active investigation against Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Rep. Tom Price R-GA). Trump fired him in March, only days after telling Bharara that he would be keeping his job leading the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Among Kasowitz’ other clients are the embattled Russian bank OJSC Sberbank and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who was ousted from the network over a series of sexual harassment complaints.