When the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins later this week, there will be one point of easy comparison with the trial of former President Bill Clinton: the quality of the legal representation. Whereas Clinton had “not one, but two, top-notch law firms defending him,” Trump has struggled to get decent representation, writes George Conway in a Washington Post op-ed.
That dynamic is in part due to history. Law firms know all about Trump’s seeming penchant to not pay his legal bills. When you add that to the fact that Trump simply doesn’t take direction from anyone and representing the president would likely decimate any firm’s recruiting efforts, it’s little wonder the best lawyers in the country have passed on representing the president.
That dynamic meant Trump had to set up “a random patchwork of counsel” to be defended in the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. With his impeachment trial looming, “Trump found the need now to add to the mix. But the mix still makes no sense,” writes Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. It’s difficult to see how either member of the “legal odd couple of” Alan Dershowitz nor Kenneth Starr “could help” Trump make his case. Dershowitz is known for being condescending and taking indefensible positions while it is difficult to know what Starr is doing on Trump’s team considering his investigation led to Clinton’s impeachment. “That’s hardly helpful for Trump, because Clinton was a piker compared with Trump,” Conway writes.
“Any litigator will tell you that adding to your legal team on the eve of trial most likely will not produce better lawyering but, rather, chaos,” Conway writes. “In that sense, at least, Trump will be getting the representation he deserves.”
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary, and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.Join Slate Plus