Thursday, July 13, 2017

Leaky, Leaky

[Trump's] lawyers, people familiar with the internal discussions say, are reminding White House aides and the president that the stakes are higher now that a special counsel and Congress are scrutinizing their every move, that small indiscretions could turn into bigger issues, and that they have to follow rules they don't like.


They have tried to block Trump's warring band of aides from joining meetings with his lawyers, warning that they could become witnesses or be forced to hire lawyers if they attend.


Trump wants many people in the room for meetings and will sometimes ask lawyers for advice about people they do not represent, two West Wing aides said. At the same time, most West Wing aides don't have lawyers yet and have sometimes asked lawyers not representing them for guidance.


The lawyers -- particularly Kasowitz -- have been taken aback by the infighting in the West Wing, people familiar with their thinking say. And they have been frustrated that they often learn about big developments just before they happen, as they did on Saturday with the New York Times story on Trump Jr.'s meeting with a person he believed to be a Russian government attorney.

Trump's lawyers had no idea the story was posting until that afternoon — and learned of the president’s role in crafting Donald Jr.’s first statement on Air Force One only after a subsequent piece was published on Tuesday posted.


What has frustrated Kasowitz and the team, people familiar with the matter say, is Trump's family always being there and giving their own advice.


Being on Trump’s legal team has been a thankless job because the president assumes his lawyers can automatically make problems go away. The frustration that Trump is now expressing toward Kasowitz is quite similar to his ongoing irritations with the White House’s top attorney, Don McGahn. For the past several months, Trump has been irritated that McGahn could not make the investigations into the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia disappear.

Trump obviously doesn't understand the difference between a federal investigation by a special prosecutor and one of his hundreds of personal lawsuits.

The obvious lesson here for aides and staff is: lawyer up, on your own.

 ...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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