Speed Reads

A good lawyer is hard to find

This is why Trump is having trouble hiring a lawyer for the Russia investigation

On Sunday morning, President Trump tweeted that "many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russia case ... don't believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on," and a few hours later, his one remaining personal lawyer in the Russia case, Jay Sekulow, announced that Trump is no longer hiring the lawyers he retained last week, Joseph diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, citing conflicts of interest Trump could have waived.

Despite the "fame and fortune" of representing a president, "leading white-collar lawyers in Washington and New York have repeatedly spurned overtures to take over the defense" of the "mercurial" and headstrong Trump, report Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman at the The New york Times. Major law firms are also "fearful that an affiliation with Trump and the Russia case could impact their ability to attract other clients and hire new lawyers," The Washington Post adds. Top Republican lawyers like Ted Olson, Emmet Flood, and William A. Burck — who is representing Stephen Bannon, Reince Priebus, and White House Counsel Don McGahn — are known to have turned down Trump.

A big reason lawyers are shunning this "dream job," Schmidt and Haberman say, is that Trump "trusts few people and considers himself his best lawyer, spokesman, and strategist." Trump is "his own lawyer. Always has been and always will be," a person close to Trump's legal team tells the Post. "You know what they say about a 'lawyer' who has himself as a client." In case you don't, legal analyst Roger Cossack explains: "You have what we're seeing here: Chaos and disaster."

Trump's lead personal attorney in the Russia case, John Dowd, quit last week, reportedly because Trump wouldn't heed his advice. Trump's taxpayer-funded lawyer, Ty Cobb — who represents the office of the presidency, not Trump — is wrapping up his phase of the Russia case.