June 6, 2017 2:45 pm -

It seems that celebrity real estate developer Donald Trump, who appears to be neck deep in the Russiagate swamp, had been having a problem finding legal representation:

Top lawyers with at least four major law firms rebuffed White House overtures to represent President Trump in the Russia investigations, in part over concerns that the president would be unwilling to listen to their advice, according to five sources familiar with discussions about the matter.

The unwillingness of some of the country’s most prestigious attorneys and their law firms to represent Trump has complicated the administration’s efforts to mount a coherent defense strategy to deal with probes being conducted by four congressional committees as well as Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

The president’s chief lawyer now in charge of the case is Marc E. Kasowitz, a tough New York civil litigator who for years has aggressively represented Trump in multiple business and public relations disputes — often with threats of countersuits and menacing public statements — but who has little experience dealing with complex congressional and Justice Department investigations that are inevitably influenced by media coverage and public opinion.

Before Kasowitz was retained, however, some of the biggest law firms and their best-known attorneys turned down overtures when they were sounded out by White House officials to see if they would be willing to represent the president, the sources said.

And Trump has yet another reason to retain a good mouthpiece:

Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who’s now serving as the special counsel in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, has put together a team of experienced prosecutors — including some who have experience going after organized crime. …

Included on Mueller’s team are longtime law firm partner James Quarles, who got his start in Washington as an assistant prosecutor in the Watergate scandal; Andrew Weissmann, the head of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud unit, who is best known for his work in prosecuting the Enron accounting scandal and for trying dozens of cases related to the notorious Genovese and Gambino crime families; and Jeannie Rhee, who previously worked at the Department of Justice while advising the White House and the attorney general on executive power and national-security issues.

“The more familiar you are with the important, hard cases that have come before you, the better you are at assessing the one in front of you,” explained Samuel Buell, an ex-federal prosecutor who helped Weissmann prosecute Enron executives. “In a matter of this importance— it’s going to have an almost unprecedented level of outside scrutiny for anything they do — it’s critical that Mueller would be prizing that kind of gray-beard energy.”

I love the smell of Oval Office flop-sweat in the morning!

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.