Former president Donald Trump and close aides have spent the eight days since the FBI searched his Florida home rushing to assemble a team of respected defense lawyers. But the answer they keep hearing is “no.”
The struggle to find expert legal advice puts Trump in a bind as he faces potential criminal exposure from a records dispute with the National Archives that escalated into a federal investigation into possible violations of the Espionage Act and other statutes.
“Everyone is saying no,” said a prominent Republican lawyer, who like some others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations.
Trump is no stranger to legal proceedings, and his scramble to hire lawyers in the face of an ominous federal probe recalls his predicament in the summer of 2017, when he was under scrutiny from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in the Russia probe. Once again, Trump is struggling to find a veteran criminal defense lawyer with a strong track record of dealing with the Justice Department in a sprawling, multipronged investigation.
Longtime confidants and advisers of Trump have grown extremely worried about Trump’s current stable of lawyers, noting that most of them have little to no experience in cases of this type, according to two people familiar with the internal discussions. [Continue reading…]