This morning, the newspapers are full of information on the absconding defense lawyers, the pundits are busy pontificating, and the talking heads on the teevee are warming up for a good chinwag on the topic.
My sense is that some of them are getting out over their skis, in terms of explaining what is going on. That said, it seems that Trump views his forthcoming trial as a golden opportunity to further spread the big lie about the “stolen election.”
This plan presents major problemas for any lawyer who wishes to keep on earning money by practicing law. Two, in particular, stand out.
One. Trump apparently wants his lawyers to defend a proposition that is demonstrably contrary to fact.
Two. Apart from being demonstrably contrary to fact, the purportedly stolen election is only relevant to Trump’s guilt or innocence, if he is prepared to argue that, because the election was stolen, insurrection is justified.
This in a situation where seventy or eighty courts have declared that the election was not stolen, and no court has ruled to the contrary.
Now, Trump has a right to appear pro se and to argue his own case. Defendants always have that right, though it’s a really bad idea. But it happens anyway, from time to time.
Alternatively, Trump’s option is to find one or more lawyers who don’t care about being disbarred. Rudy Giuliani would fit the bill. Sure, he’s both a witness to, and a participant in, the events in question. Sure, he’s not supposed to be a witness and a lawyer at the same time. Sure, violating that rule could lead to disbarment. But Rudy has already done so many things that make him unfit to continue as a member of the New York Bar that, one would suppose, it hardly matters whether he does some more things that risk disbarment.
So, I think it’s going to be Rudy.
Or maybe L. Lin Wood, whose sanity is being questioned by the Georgia Bar Association, which has demanded that he undergo a checkup from the neck up.