Three more of Donald Trump’s current or former advisers hired attorneys this weekend to represent them in the Trump-Russia scandal, upon learning they were being targeted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. More than ten Trump advisers and underlings have now hired attorneys in the scandal. This lawyering up is nothing new – but something is different this time around. Two of the three advisers, former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and current White House Counsel Don McGahn, have both hired the same attorney.
It’s been my observation that when all of the underlings in a scandal hire the same attorney, it’s because they all know they’re all innocent – meaning they know they won’t have to compete with each other to see who can get the best deal by flipping on the boss. The only way for each of the underlings to know that all of the others are innocent is if there was no crime committed by the boss to begin with. We saw this with the Hillary Clinton email nonsense, where all of her staffers felt safe using the same attorney, because they knew there was nothing to the phony scandal. But the Trump thing is different.
What stands out here is that virtually none of Donald Trump’s underlings are sharing an attorney in the Russia scandal. Donald Trump and his own son aren’t using the same attorney. Trump and his VP Mike Pence aren’t using the same attorney. Jared Kushner and his brother-in-law aren’t using the same attorney. They’re all playing it safe, just in case things get ugly and they have to sell each other out to avoid prison. Then there’s the curious case of Reince Priebus and Don McGahn, who have both hired William Burck to represent them. They aren’t merely using the same firm; they’re using the same exact lawyer.
Their decision to hire the same attorney in the Trump-Russia scandal tells us that two of them know for sure they won’t be flipping on each other, and won’t be competing with each other for a deal. There are a few different ways to interpret that. The most logical would be that they’re planning to jointly flip on Donald Trump together. Hope Hicks also hired an attorney this weekend once her name also surfaced as a likely target of Mueller, but she hired a different attorney. She appears more personally aligned with Trump, and is probably less to likely to flip unless she absolutely has to.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report