Trump’s Legal Team Includes a Former OAN Host, a Lawyer for a Parking Garage Company, and Kash Patel Selling Tank Tops and Beanies

Murdoch Papers Hit Trump with Scathing Op-Eds

Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump is scrambling to assemble a top-notch legal team in the wake of the FBI executing a search warrant at his residence at Mar-a-Lago, but he’s being tripped up by his own well-documented history of refusing to follow his attorneys’ advice or pay their bills.

The ex-president’s self-inflicted woes were laid out in detail in a quintuple-bylined article at the Washington Post Wednesday; “Trump is rushing to hire seasoned lawyers — but he keeps hearing ‘No'” was the headline.

Trump’s inner circle is fretting about the D-list status of his current crop of legal advisers, reported the Post, with a growing list of respected and experienced attorneys declining the invitation to defend him against potentially serious federal charges.

One source that dished on the record was Michael Cohen, who parted ways with his former client after his 2018 conviction for tax evasion, false statements, lying to Congress, and campaign finance violations. Trump used to be able to attract top-tier law firms by pointing out they could advertise he was their client, said Cohen, but “[t]oday it’s not the same.” The former president is “a very difficult client in that he’s always pushing the envelope, he rarely listens to sound legal advice, and he wants you to do things that are not appropriate, ethically or legally,” Cohen added.

Several other sources spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, saying Trump “was nearly impossible to represent and that it would be unclear if they would ever get paid.” His penchant for oversharing on social media was a major issue; one attorney said Trump had been urged by his legal team not to tweet about the Mueller probe “only to find he’d tweeted about it before they got to the end of the West Wing driveway.”

The lawyers who have agreed to join Trump’s Island of Misfit Toys legal squad are far from the Ivy League-educated BigLaw firm types who would usually be involved in a complex federal criminal defense for a former president.

Instead, Trump has former OAN host Christina Bobb; Lindsey Halligan, a Florida insurance claims lawyer admitted to the bar in 2014 with zero prior federal court filings; and Alina Habba, whose legal experience includes serving as general counsel to a parking garage company, filing lawsuits on Trump’s behalf against The New York Times, Hillary Clinton, and Trump’s niece Mary L. Trump, and defending Trump against a defamation claim by E. Jean Carroll, the writer who has accused Trump of sexual assault.

He’s also got Boris Epshteyn, who helped Rudy Giuliani with the “alternate electors” scheme to block the certification of the 2020 Electoral College votes, and former White House aide Kash Patel, whom the Post article describes as “raising money for a ‘legal offense’ fund by selling merchandise such as tank tops and beanies emblazoned with the logo ‘K$H.'”

Two former federal prosecutors, Evan Corcoran and James Trusty, are also advising Trump, as his spokesman Taylor Budowich pointed out, but those guys aren’t getting the television air time like Bobb, Patel, and the others who lack their criminal law credentials.

Trump’s failure to recruit a “high-profile white-collar defense lawyer” to be the clear leader of his legal team was “not good,” one Trump confidant told the Post, in quite the remarkable understatement. “Something big is going to pop. Somebody needs to be in charge.”

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Sarah Rumpf joined Mediaite in 2020 and is a Contributing Editor focusing on politics, law, and the media. A native Floridian, Sarah attended the University of Florida, graduating with a double major in Political Science and German, and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the UF College of Law. Sarah's writing has been featured at National Review, The Daily Beast, Reason, Law & Crime, Independent Journal Review, Texas Monthly, The Capitolist, Breitbart Texas, Townhall, RedState, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Austin-American Statesman, and her political commentary has led to appearances on the BBC, MSNBC, NewsNation, Fox 35 Orlando, Fox 7 Austin, The Young Turks, The Dean Obeidallah Show, and other television, radio, and podcast programs across the globe.