It’s practically become a media trope for Donald Trump’s failures that no decent lawyers will work for him because he’s known as a deadbeat who routinely stiffs his lawyers. This seems like an easy problem to solve. If the only thing standing between Trump and top flight lawyers is money, then all those lawyers have to do is take a retainer up front. Happens all the time.
Five million dollars up front would probably be a good starting point. The lawyers could tell Trump they’ll let him know when it runs out, roll up their collective sleeves and get down to work. Despite the popular notion that Trump doesn’t have those kinds of funds, I actually think he does, and can easily get his hands on a lousy five million bucks.
Permit me to, metaphorically speaking, whisper the answer in your ear. Let me say the loud part quietly. I don’t believe a top flight lawyer would really need the money. Top flight lawyers take famous cases pro bono all the time, because the advertising alone is worth the usual fee.
No, I think the real reason nobody wants to work for Trump is because his name has become toxic. Only some two bit ambulance chaser with a degree from a cafeteria law school would work for Trump, which is why his current crop is so deeply pathetic and probably working for free.
The trio of lawyers Trump has engaged to help him with the Mar-a-Lago search warrant are Lindsey Halligan, Christina Bobb, and Alina Habba. Ms Halligan is fairly nondescript and non-controversial, a determined mediocrity. But Ms Bobb is a former anchor for One America News (OAN), a Trump-friendly right-wing media outfit, and a wack-job in her own right.
What’s more, Christina Bobb is the lawyer who signed her name to the document falsely claiming that all classified materials at Mar-a-Lago had been duly turned over to the FBI, when in fact it hadn’t been. And Ms. Bobb knew for a fact that it hadn’t been because she was present when the boxes containing classified materials were secreted in the basement. Ms. Bob just might be in serious legal trouble of her own. MAGA might truly stand for “Making Attorneys Get Attorneys.”
Ms Habba is also a piece of work. She previously threatened to sue the Pulitzer Prize Committee unless it retracted the 2018 National Reporting prizes it awarded to the New York Times and Washington Post for stories about Russia’s influence on Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory. She also reportedly once said of New York Attorney General Letitia James, “I hate that black b****.” She’s also (no surprise here) a virulent racist.
Anyway, this is Donald Trump’s idea of a “dream team.” His toxicity has made it necessary for him to scrape the bottom of the barrel. A good lawyer doesn’t need his or her good name dragged through the mud by taking on the likes of Donald Trump as a client. That’s why Trump must settle for the unbelievably inadequate third-rate wackos he has right now.
So when you wonder why Trump can’t get a decent lawyer, wonder no more. It’s because no decent lawyer wants him, not for fame, not for name recognition, not for any price. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.