Chaos in Trumpland as ex-president’s lawyers keep committing blunders: NYT
Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Former President Donald Trump's legal team is in chaos as he confronts investigations in Georgia, New York, and Washington, D.C.

On Friday, The New York Times reported, "Trump’s legal team has been distinguished in recent months mostly by infighting and the legal problems that some of its members appear to have gotten themselves into in the course of defending him."

The report noted former Trump White House lawyer Eric Hershmann failed to get guidance on how to respond to questions of executive privilege or attorney-client privilege.

"Mr. Trump has also just brought on a well-regarded lawyer, Christopher M. Kise, the former solicitor general of Florida, to help lead his legal team, after being rejected by a handful of others he had sought out, including former U.S. attorneys with experience in the jurisdictions where the investigations are unfolding," the newspaper reported. "Mr. Kise agreed to work for the former president for a $3 million fee, an unusually high retainer for Mr. Trump to agree to, according to two people familiar with the figure. Mr. Kise did not respond to an email seeking comment."

The newspaper noted Trump attorney Evan Corcoran may need to recuse himself.

"Two members of the Trump legal team working on the documents case, Mr. Corcoran and Christina Bobb, have subjected themselves to scrutiny by federal law enforcement officials over assurances they provided to prosecutors and federal agents in June that the former president had returned all sensitive government documents kept in his residence and subpoenaed by a grand jury, according to people familiar with the situation," the newspaper reported. "That assertion was proved to be untrue after the search of Mar-a-Lago in August turned up more than 100 additional documents with classification markings."

Bobb has retained defense lawyer John Lauro.

"Mr. Corcoran, the son of a former Republican congressman from Illinois, has told associates that he is the former president’s 'main' lawyer and has insisted to colleagues that he does not need to retain his own counsel, as Ms. Bobb has," The Times reported. "But several Trump associates have said privately that they believe Mr. Corcoran cannot continue in his role on the documents investigation. That view is shared by some of Mr. Trump’s advisers, who have suggested Mr. Corcoran needs to step away, in part because of his own potential legal exposure and in part because he has had little experience with criminal defense work beyond his stint as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. attorney in Washington more than two decades ago."

The newspaper reported Trump's defense team is being run by an aide whose phone was seized by the FBI.

"Mr. Trump has at least 10 lawyers working on the main investigations he faces," the newspaper reported. "To the extent anyone is regarded as a quarterback of the documents and Jan. 6-related legal teams, it is Boris Epshteyn, a former campaign adviser and Georgetown Law School graduate. Some aides tried to block his calls to Mr. Trump in 2020, according to former White House officials, but Mr. Epshteyn now works as an in-house counsel to Mr. Trump and speaks with him several times a day."

Read the full report.

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