In June, President Trump chose Marc Kasowitz, his longtime personal litigator, to represent him in all Russia-related inquiries. However, several sources spoke then about concerns with Trump as a client, namely that he would not listen to counsel’s advice. According to the Washington Post, the situation is even more dire than previously believed as Trump has continually frustrated his attorneys with his behavior:
He won’t follow instructions. After one meeting in which they urged Trump to steer clear of a certain topic, he sent a tweet about that very theme before they arrived back at their office.
He won’t compartmentalize. With aides, advisers and friends breezing in and out of the Oval Office, it is not uncommon for the president to suddenly turn the conversation to Russia — a subject that perpetually gnaws at him — in a meeting about something else entirely.
Kasowitz himself, who’s having his own behavior questioned after his profanity-laced emails were leaked, is reportedly trying to rein President Trump in by explaining the potential risk he runs in interacting with other people of interest in various Russia investigations without a lawyer present. This has lead to a rift between the legal teams representing Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner. The chaotic atmosphere inside the White House of different teams of lawyers trying to protect their clients while also coordinating is expected to intensify as Donald Trump Jr. becomes further embroiled in the Russia investigation:
As in Trump’s West Wing, lawyers on the outside teams have been deeply distrustful of one another and suspicious of motivations. They also are engaged in a circular firing squad of private speculation about who may have disclosed information about Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer to the New York Times, said people familiar with the situation.
Compounding all of these issues is the question of who is going to pay for all rising legal fees. Apparently, some in the White House want the Republican National Committee to foot the bill. While the RNC does have a legal defense fund, that money is meant to be used for election issues like a recount.
Figuring out who is paying the bills is important, but Trump’s lawyers have a more pressing issue at hand: getting their client to see how serious the situation is:
Trump is now the highest elected official in the nation, and with that outsize perch comes potentially outsize consequences. His legal team is trying to impress upon him and those in his orbit that there could be severe ramifications for lying to federal investigators or congressional committees.
However, as many close to the President note, this flies in the face of how Trump has acted his whole life. “In Washington, politics is a full-
contact sport, and it’s certainly tougher than having it out with a magazine,” Barry Bennett, a Trump campaign advisor, said. “It’s a new arena for him and he’s treating it like every arena he’s ever been in.”
(Via Washington Post)