The Washington Post has published an extensive analysis of the legal team that Donald Trump has assembled to defend him in the various civil and criminal cases that are in progress. Having recently been found liable for defamation and rape against writer E. Jean Carroll, there remain 91 felony charges pending in four jurisdictions.
The Post’s article details the chaos and conflict within the Trump legal team, including his frequent changing of “facts” when they don’t further his political goals; his refusal to take advice from his lawyers; his pressuring them to insert extraneous political rhetoric into his legal arguments; and his reputation for failing to pay them. Several attorneys have already quit due to such shenanigans. But not before providing spectacularly awful representation.
The Post began it’s review of the Trump melodrama by noting the historical anomaly of a former president being indicted for multiple felonies.
“Trump, who is also the leading 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has a court schedule with no parallel in political or legal history — fighting felony charges that include allegedly obstructing a U.S. election and improperly retaining national security information. He is simultaneously facing four criminal indictments and multiple civil cases, a crush of court challenges that led to his political action committees’ spending more than $55 million last year on legal fees, campaign finance filings show.”
They also reported on the idiosyncratic behavior of Trump as a client and a defendant who believes that he knows more about the law than his counsel.
“As a client, Trump is both fickle and demanding [and that he] posts on social media without telling anyone, leaving his advisers and lawyers to read his missives at the same time as the public.”
One particular striking revelation in the Post’s article was that Trump himself has a serious problem with his attorneys. And surprisingly, it isn’t because they have a record of repeated losses and embarrassingly bad strategies. Nope. What Trump is complaining about is how much they are charging him.
“[O]ne adviser said he’s complained that some are overpaid. The lawyers have been told they can’t charge more than $750 an hour after some lawyers sent in bills that Trump’s political advisers deemed exorbitant, this person said.”
It’s actually hard to fault Trump in this regard. What client would want to shell out millions of dollars to attorneys who repeatedly lose, while simultaneously infuriating judges and juries? A mediocre intern could stumble over a bar that low.
On the other hand, it’s revealing that Trump would be concerned about his legal expenses when he claims to be a multi-billionaire. A defendant with allegedly unlimited financial resources wouldn’t pinch pennies in pursuit of an acquittal and avoidance of prison. That’s especially true if he is paying his lawyers with funds provided by the cult disciples who donate to his political action committees.
So it’s fair to speculate that Trump’s worrying about legal bills is a signal that he’s in even deeper trouble than was previously assumed. As for the compensation sought by his lawyers, they are both overpaid for the quality of counsel they provide to Trump, and underpaid for the torture they must endure from him. Which makes it difficult to calculate a fair fee structure.
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