Donald Trump’s former lawyers apparently have quite a bit to say about their former client’s controversies, but he probably won’t like their comments.
May 22, 2023, 3:30 AM HST
By Steve Benen
There was a time in the recent past when Donald Trump only had one former lawyer to worry about. Michael Cohen, who served as the Republican’s fixer before ultimately rejecting the former president, has been only too glad to work with prosecutors and share information about his former client.
But as Trump’s legal troubles intensify, it’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s a growing list of his former lawyers who keep saying what he doesn’t want to hear.
For example, former Attorney General Bill Barr — who was technically supposed to be our legal champion, but who effectively served as Trump’s legal advocate while in office — continues to draw the former president’s ire. Last week, the Republican lawyer suggested during a CBS News interview that Trump’s defenses in the classified documents case are baseless.
“It’s very clear that he had no business having those documents,” Barr added. “He was given a long time to send them back and he was — they were subpoenaed. And if there’s any games being played there, he’s going to be very exposed.”
Next up is Ty Cobb, who represented Trump during the investigation into the Russia scandal, and who no longer makes much of an effort to hide the contempt he feels for the former president. It was last fall, for example, when Cobb said Trump is a “deeply wounded narcissist” who acted in a “criminal” manner when he tried to overturn the 2020 election results.
Last week, the lawyer went further, telling The Independent, a British outlet, that he believes Trump “will go to jail” as a result of his classified documents scandal.
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Finally, there’s Timothy Parlatore, who resigned from the former president’s legal team last week, and who’s starting to shed light on why. The Washington Post reported:
A former top lawyer defending Donald Trump in a federal probe of how he handled classified documents told CNN that he quit last week because another member of Trump’s sprawling legal team, Boris Epshteyn, “had really done everything he could to try to block us — to prevent us from doing what we could to defend the president.”
According to what Parlatore told CNN, he didn’t just have differences with Epshteyn, perhaps best known to the public for his work as a former commentator for Sinclair Broadcasting. Rather, Parlatore claimed that Epshteyn had stood in the way of crafting an effective legal defense.
“In my opinion, he was not very honest with us or with the client on certain things,” Parlatore said of Epshteyn. “There were certain things like the searches that he had attempted to interfere with.”
A New York Times report added, “Most notably, Mr. Parlatore singled out Mr. Epshteyn as trying to keep the team from conducting additional searches of Mr. Trump’s properties after the F.B.I. executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s private club and residence in Florida, and discovered more than 100 additional classified documents.”
It’s quite an operation the former president is running, isn’t it?