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Trump Considered Hiring Law Firm Jones Day During Russia Probe, Book Says | Books

Donald Trump considered but rejected hiring law firm Jones Day to represent him in the Russia probe, according to a new book.

The news that Trump could have hired a heavyweight firm for his personal defense but chose not to – preferring ‘someone a little more pompous’, according to top partners – comes after the former president appointed a new attorney in his battle with the Justice Department over the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago Florida residence for classified White House documents.

In his many run-ins with the law as president and after, Trump is widely seen as having struggled for quality representation.

Jones Day, a huge international firm, advised Trump’s campaign in 2016 and played a major role in his administration from 2017 to 2021, most publicly through the work of partner Donald McGahn as Trump’s first attorney. to the White House.

The cabinet’s discussions of doing more personal work for Trump are described in Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump and the Corruption of Justice, a book by New York Times journalist David Enrich to be published this week. next. The Guardian obtained a copy.

According to Enrich, at the start of the Trump administration, McGahn “wanted to spend his time in the White House filling the judiciary with [conservative] The federalist society judges and, to a lesser extent, the dismantling of the “administrative state”.

The White House attorney has had great success on the justice issue, spearheading a process that installed hundreds of justices and saw three conservatives appointed to the Supreme Court.

But, Enrich writes, “What McGahn and his team increasingly found themselves spending time on were Trump’s personal legal issues.”

McGahn, writes Enrich, thought Trump should have “his own competent attorney” to handle investigations into Russian election interference and Trump-Moscow ties, and Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

That, Enrich says, led to Trump having at least two Oval Office meetings with Jones Day managing partner Stephen Brogan.

Enrich reports that some at Jones Day thought such a deal would tie the company too tightly to Trump as his presidency descended into controversy and chaos. Brogan was advised to stand down but was pressured to land the client.

“In the end, Brogan didn’t get the job,” Enrich writes, adding that he “went to John Dowd. The feeling among some senior partners at Jones Day was that Trump wanted someone a bit more pompous than Brogan as chief defender.

Trump’s choice had ramifications for the rest of his presidency and beyond. Dowd, a former U.S. Marine, resigned in March 2018 over his leadership of Trump’s response to the Russian investigation widely seen as a failure. McGahn, who cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller, resigned five months later.

The Russia investigation hurt Trump but he escaped impeachment. There was no escaping Ukraine’s approaches involving withholding military aid while seeking to smear rivals, including Joe Biden.

Because enough Republican senators remained loyal, Trump was acquitted in his first Senate trial, and in his second, for instigating the deadly attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in his attempt to reverse his defeat. 2020 election.

But throughout those struggles, Trump was represented by attorneys widely seen as not up to the task, including Bruce Castor, a former Pennsylvania prosecutor who gave a rambling presentation at the second impeachment trial.

Throughout his crazy post-presidency, Trump has continued to struggle to hire top talent. Re looking for Mar-a-Lago last month, reviews to suggest Trump’s lawyers made life easier for the DoJ by, among other things, demanding that the details of the corresponding affidavit and warrant be made public.

Writing for The Intercept last week, journalist James Risen said: “Even [Trump’s] attorneys loyal to the cult became radioactive with prosecutors, angering the Justice Department with its efforts to politicize the case. In a court filing … the Justice Department said Trump’s attorneys made “wide-ranging baseless accusations” against the government.

Two Trump attorneys, Christina Bobb and Evan Corcoran, could be in danger of becoming targets of an obstructionist investigation, given their roles liaising with the DoJ over records stored at Mar-a-Lago.

Last week, in a move widely seen as a game for better representation, Trump hired Chris Kise, a former Florida solicitor general who won cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.