Washington lawyers reluctant to join Trump’s legal team: report

Veteran Washington attorneys are reluctant to join President Trump’s legal team and concerned about having to defend a president who often appears unwilling or loath to take their advice, The New York Times Magazine reported Wednesday.

“There are folks who come to you because you have a certain expertise and folks who come to you because they have already figured out what they want and need, and they want to use you as a dinner fork,” said attorney Robert Luskin, who represented former President George W. Bush’s senior adviser Karl Rove in the Valerie Plame investigation.

Brendan Sullivan, the lawyer who defended Oliver North in the wake of the Iran-Contra Affair, reportedly declined an offer to represent Trump.


So has Ted Olson, the former U.S. solicitor general who defended Jonathan Pollard, the spy convicted of providing U.S. government secrets to Israel.

Instead, Trump has hired a number of aggressive and flamboyant lawyers who cut their legal teeth outside of the Capital Beltway.

For example, Marc Kasowitz, a high-profile New York lawyer whom Trump hired to help him navigate the multiple investigations into Russian election meddling, was among the attorneys to defend ousted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly as he faced sexual harassment allegations.

Jay Sekulow, who was also hired by Trump to help with the Russia probes, is a backer of Christian conservative causes and hosts a syndicated talk radio show.

The Times Magazine reported that some Washington lawyers are hesitant to work with Trump because of his habit of going off script, saying things that could compromise his legal position or undermine a case. 

Tags Donald Trump Jay Sekulow Marc Kasowitz

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