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Trump May Have to Throw His 'Clown Car' Full of Lawyers Under the Bus

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  evilone  •  8 months ago  •  6 comments

By:   vice

Trump May Have to Throw His 'Clown Car' Full of Lawyers Under the Bus
And Special Counsel Jack Smith wants a judge to force him to make a decision about it soon.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


by Greg Walters October 19, 2023, 10:00am

And Special Counsel Jack Smith wants a judge to force him to make a decision about it soon. 

Former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom for his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on October 17, 2023 in New York City. (Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty Images)

Former president Donald Trump's legal advisors have a long history of getting themselves into all kinds of complicated trouble, from disbarmentproceedings to actual prison time.

Now, they're on the cusp of fresh drama in the federal criminal case against Trump in Washington D.C. over Trump's alleged attempts to subvert the 2020 election, brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Smith is attempting to force Trump into a difficult decision between, effectively, preserving a possible defense at trial, or shielding his communications with his lawyers.

Smith asked the judge to order Trump to declare whether he'll argue that he relied on his attorneys' advice while attempting to reverse his electoral defeat—which is a legal defense known as "advice of counsel."

The stakes are high. If Trump says "yes," he'll retain that defense to protect himself at trial—but he'll also be forced to hand over communications with those attorneys, which are typically held secret under "attorney-client privilege." If he says "no," then he'll retain that attorney-client privilege—but leave himself less room to maneuver at trial.

"It's a beautiful chess move," Gene Rossi, a former federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia, told VICE News. "This is Jack Smith going on offense. He's saying: 'Are you invoking the attorney-client privilege? Or are you going to rely on the advice of counsel defense?' Those two positions are mutually exclusive.'"

Simply put, if Trump plans to argue that his lawyers said that his actions were fine, then it follows that he should have to share what they told him, so the jury can evaluate whether his claim is true.

Trump's team has, so far, taken advantage of both positions at once—arguing in public that Trump's actions were lawful because his lawyers approved of them, while also holding back communications with those legal advisors by asserting the shield of attorney-client privilege.

If Trump says he does plan to rely on the advice of counsel defense, then he'll likely have to hand prosecutors all his emails, text messages, and other correspondence with a host of embattled legal advisors including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, John Eastman, and more.

That could get downright awkward for the group former Attorney General William Barr oncecalled a "clown car" of lawyers.

"What Trump decides will have immediate consequences going forward. Disclosure of those materials between Trump and his lawyers could be explosive because they may not only debunk the advice of counsel defense, but could contain other admissions that Smith could use at trial," former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade wrote in a recent analysis for MSNBC.

"In this case, the waiver would open the floodgates to discovery, since no fewer than 25 witnesses have asserted the privilege in refusing to answer questions or turn over documents. The sheer volume is one of the reasons Smith is asking for the court to force Trump to decide now," McQuade wrote.

There's little telling what might be in the lawyers' memos, notes and correspondence.

"These attorneys were probably operating with the view that what they said was protected by privilege," Rossi said. "But now all that advice could be hung out on a laundry line."

Tagged:Donald Trum prudy giuliani Sidney Powell


Red Box Rules

The article topic is the legal forcing of a legal defense in the DC Jan 6th case. Do not attempt to relitigate the merits of the case - it will be deemed off topic. Don't attempt to poke at your political foes - that is certainly off topic. 


 

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evilone
Professor Guide
1  seeder  evilone    8 months ago
Smith asked the judge to order Trump to declare whether he'll argue that he relied on his attorneys' advice while attempting to reverse his electoral defeat—which is a legal defense known as "advice of counsel."

This is what Trump has claimed publicly. If confirmed all the notes of conversations can be admitted into evidence. If Trump says no to retain the attorney/client privilege he will need a new defense. Either way he may be backed into a corner. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  evilone @1    8 months ago

the continuous public humiliation is the worst kind of torture imaginable for trump. I would love to see all the riders on his legal defense contracts with some of his attorneys.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @1.1    8 months ago

I think you have to have a screw loose to defend that turd.

 
 
 
Hallux
PhD Principal
2  Hallux    8 months ago

As far as I can tell Trump has had but one good lawyer, Susan Necheles, and even she failed. Alina Habba on the other hand seems bent on outperforming the gal from Krakenworld.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1  Tessylo  replied to  Hallux @2    8 months ago

Do you mean Powell?  She just plead guilty in the Georgia case.

 
 
 
Hallux
PhD Principal
2.1.1  Hallux  replied to  Tessylo @2.1    8 months ago

Powell is the Kraken-gal. Necheles was one of his lawyers in the Manhattan bribery case.

 
 

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