We’re not sure what the second rule is when it comes to hiring a lawyer, but we’re pretty sure the first rule is that you’ve got to make sure your lawyer is actually your lawyer before you start treating him like your lawyer. Donald Trump tried to save a buck when he hired Ty Cobb, a defense attorney in the Trump-Russia scandal – and as it turns out, that move may have cost him everything.
Last year it was widely reported that when Donald Trump hired Ty Cobb to help him in the Russia scandal, he decided to put Cobb on the White House payroll so he wouldn’t have to pay him out of pocket. Palmer Report pointed out at the time that this meant Trump would have no attorney-client privilege with Cobb, and we suspected that Trump didn’t realize this. Now we know that, for the bulk of the time Cobb was (not really) Trump’s lawyer, Trump was indeed telling Cobb all kinds of things about his scandals without realizing that Cobb would have to testify about all of it. This means Cobb just became Robert Mueller’s star witness.
Bob Woodward’s book confirms that, late in Ty Cobb’s tenure, Donald Trump’s (real) criminal defense attorney John Dowd informed Trump that he had no attorney-client privilege with Cobb. Trump’s response was “Jesus” and that tells you all you need to know about the severity of the things he admitted to Cobb. The thing is, if we had our suspicions last year that Trump was unwittingly giving all his secrets to Cobb, then Mueller surely had the same suspicions.
Our educated guess would be that Robert Mueller has already brought in Ty Cobb to testify about everything Donald Trump told him. If Mueller didn’t jump on the Cobb thing before, he definitely will now. Unless you believe that Cobb is willing to go to prison to protect Trump, which is extraordinarily unlikely, it means Cobb is Robert Mueller’s accidental star witness. Trump’s conniving cheapskate ways truly have done a number on him in the end.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report