There are some basic rules for hiring new employees, unless you want it all to blow up in your face. Don’t begin interviewing replacement candidates unless you’re fine with the possibility that the person currently holding the job might find out about it and abruptly quit. Don’t announce your new hire if you haven’t actually hired the person yet. And most of all, don’t announce your new hire if you’re not even sure you want to hire that person. This week Donald Trump has managed to screw up all three of those points in short order.
Trump began interviewing new attorneys to join his Trump-Russia legal team, only to be quickly rebuffed by Emmet Flood and others. This prompted Trump’s lead attorney, John Dowd, to resign after concluding that Trump was looking to replace him. Trump then countered by announcing that he was hiring Fox News guest Joseph diGenova as his new attorney. That was a bad enough look on its own, as diGenova’s best attempt at a legal defense appears to be simply having Trump yell “I was framed” in the hope anyone will believe it. Then things got ugly.
Nearly a week after Trump had his people announce that he was hiring diGenova, it turns out Trump still hasn’t hired diGenova. In fact, CNN is now reporting that Trump still isn’t convinced he wants to hire diGenova (link). It gets even worse, as Trump apparently didn’t realize that diGenova’s wife and law partner, Victoria Toensing, is currently representing Mark Corallo – a witness who recently began cooperating with Robert Mueller.
So to recap the events of the past six days: Donald Trump began interviewing potential new attorneys in such sloppy fashion that his lead attorney resigned. He then announced the hiring of a new attorney, simply because he liked what the guy had said on cable news. A week later he still hasn’t hired the guy, doesn’t know if he wants to hire the guy, and due to the conflict of interest that everyone knew about but him, isn’t even sure he can hire the guy. As a result Trump now has no lead attorney at a crucial point in the Trump-Russia criminal investigation, and no clear path to hiring a new one, all while looking like even more of a fool than usual.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report