Bad Cases (and Bad Lawyers) Can Make For Bad Law

Below is my column in USA Today on the recent ruling against President Donald Trump in a civil lawsuit where his counsel sought dismissal on constitutional grounds.  It was a weak argument that made bad precedent for the Office of the President.  With yet another change in his legal team, Trump needs to focus on continuity among his legal team.  More lawyers does not necessarily translate to a stronger case. Indeed, it can undermine a case when lawyers are advancing conflicting or reckless arguments.

Here is the column:

A New York state judge this week delivered a major blow to President Trump in rejecting his effort to bar proceedings against him by a former Apprentice contestant, Summer Zervos. The case is a defamation action is linked to Zervos’ allegation of sexual harassment by Trump. In April, I wrote a column warning that Trump’s local counsel in various states were recklessly using presidential privilege and immunity arguments to try to kill various lawsuits. Now, the first ruling has come down rejecting the president’s arguments. In the meantime, Trump is fielding a growing army of lawyers in trying to silence other women who have come forward with the risk of turning this loss into  cascading failures. If so, the ultimate loser will not just be the president but his office.

Presidents have historically avoided litigation in deference to their successors.  Executive privilege and some immunities are not expressly stated in the Constitution, but rather are created through courts’ interpretations. Past presidents have studiously refrained from cases that might curtail these powers or defenses for future administrations. Trump, however, came to office with a long chain of cases dragging behind him and his lawyers have made constitutional claims with reckless abandon. There is no evidence that White House Counsel Don McGahn has asserted the interests of the White House in limiting such precedent-making arguments.

Zervos is suing Trump for a series of statements that he made concerning her allegation that he “ambushed” her at various times starting in 2007, including groping and kissing her. Since the statute of limitations had run, Trump could have avoided a lawsuit by refusing to comment or issuing circumspect denials. Instead, he labeled Zervos a liar and tweeted out her pictures as part of these attacks. That made a dead harassment case into a live defamation case.

Trump’s personal counsel have been seeking to use the fact he is president to either dismiss or delay litigation. New York State Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecterrightfully rejected the defense and set the course for Trump to be personally deposed — much like Bill Clinton was forced into a deposition in the Paula Jones litigation.

Trump just created new precedent that will limit not just himself but future presidents — precisely what some of us warned against. While Clinton was forced into a federal proceeding over sexual assault claims by Jones, Trump’s counsel argued that state courts are different. The result is now a bad case making bad law for future presidents.

The costs are likely only to grow in the coming weeks. The president appears to be hiring lawyers by the gross. (Well-known Republican lawyer Ted Olson reportedly turned Trump down on Tuesday). That rarely works. The president’s lawyers have repeatedly and publicly been out of sync at critical points — leading to embarrassing corrections or retractions later. The key to high-profile cases is consistency and coherence. Litigation by committee is no better than art by consensus. Adding Raphael and Da Vinci to Michelangelo would not have improved the ceiling in the Sistine. Indeed, it is doubtful it would ever have been completed.

It is not just the burgeoning number of lawyers that is the problem for Trump but the lawyers themselves. While bad cases can make bad law, so can bad lawyers. Take Trump’s long-term personal counsel Michael Cohen. Cohen has a reputation as a heavy who threatens journalists and citizens who pose any risk to Trump. He is at the center of the expanding scandal involving porn star Stormy Daniels. Cohen assumed false names and created a shell company to silence of Daniels on her alleged affair with Trump in exchange of $130,000 (which Cohen paid out of his personal funds). Trump (referred to as David Dennison in the agreement) did not sign but Cohen signed as “Essential Consultants, LLC,” the shell company that Cohen created and appears to be essentially himself.

Now, Cohen has sought to enforce the agreement to gag Daniels and hit her with $1 million penalties for every disclosure or threat to disclose information on Trump. He says said that he is considering using the money personally for a long vacation. Trump also formally entered the case — seeking to gag Daniels and hit her with as much as $20 million in penalties. No president has ever pursued such a claim and Cohen’s heavy-handed and questionable conduct could taint the case — and any precedent later set by the federal court.

In yet another front, former Playboy model Karen McDougal filed this week to get out of her non-disclosure agreement. That NDA was signed with the National Enquirer, which paid her $150,000 for her own story of an affair with Trump. The magazine then spiked the story in what is widely viewed as a “catch and kill” maneuver. Trump’s close friend, magazine chief executive David Pecker, reportedly instigated the payment to protect Trump.

Trump has long valued lawyers with pitbull, if not rabid, reputations. One lawyer appears to have been particularly influential. In March 2016, Trump reportedly asked in frustration “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” Cohn was an infamous New York lawyer who played a key role in the McCarthy hearings and various scandals. He represented Trump for many years. He was later disbarred for professional misconduct including perjury and witness tampering. He was known to threaten opponents and adopt a scorched earth approach to lawyering. Trump appears to value some of the same attributes in Cohen that he found in Cohn.

Trump, however, is no longer litigating over construction zones but constitutional spaces. Moreover, it is unlikely to work. It never has. Information, like water, tends to find its way out against even the strongest walls. In the meantime, the costs of this wall (stretching across multiple states and disputes) will continue to rise for the office of the presidency.

Jonathan Turley, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, where he teaches constitutional and tort law. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley

294 thoughts on “Bad Cases (and Bad Lawyers) Can Make For Bad Law”

  1. “After McGahn’s anticipated departure from the WH, the remaining team will be evangelical grifters, conspiracy theorists and T.V. talking heads….and possibly an add-on, barely high school Hannity.” – a comment from the internet

  2. You seem surprised that Dotard is doing something dumb, lacking appreciation for context of the situation, like pushing the privilege and constitutional envelopes, which if these arguments do not prevail, as you pointed out, have overarching implications for future presidents. You seem surprised that he hires lawyers who like to threaten, intimidate and bribe people who have information adverse to him. I’m surprised that you claim to be surprised. If he did anything else, that would be a surprise. This is part and parcel of his massive ego and his lack of understanding of the role of a President in a constitutional democracy. Remember, he wanted the ultimate bragging prize: the Presidency. He doesn’t care about anything else.

    You claim that: “…the ultimate loser will not just be the president but his office.” No, Jon, we’re all ultimate losers for letting this charade presidency continue. Now that “nuke Korea” Bolton is on board, I’m more concerned than ever before.

    1. Lawyers work best when the client can provide info. Trump can only tell his attorneys how great he is and, the things he wants to believe are true, nothing else sticks to his frontal lobe. In the courtroom, the answer to the judge’s question, “can the client participate in his defense?”, should be “no” (too much of a Narcissist).

    2. Natacha said (to Turley), “You seem surprised that Dotard is doing something dumb . . .”

      Yes, Natacha. We all should have foreseen the full depth and breadth of Trump’s stupidity. And here’s the example that really takes the cake [sarcasm alert]: If there’s a conspiracy to frame Trump for a crime that he did not commit, then why hasn’t Trump yet been charged with a crime that he did not commit? Likewise, if there’s a conspiracy to frame Trump for a crime that’s not even a crime, then why hasn’t Trump yet been charged with a crime that’s not even a crime? Is there some sort of hold-up at the FBI or the OSC? Are the alleged conspirators against Trump hopelessly incompetent? Or is that just Trump playing the victim while doubling down on wishful thinking?

      Maybe the OSC is looking for a crime that actually is a crime. (But it takes a while) Maybe the OSC is looking for a crime that Trump may have committed (But it takes a while). Maybe the OSC is getting closer and closer to charging Trump with a crime that actually is a crime and which Trump may very well have committed (But it will take a little bit longer). Maybe that’s why Trump is no longer merely proclaiming his innocence, but also actually accusing the FBI and the OSC of an alleged conspiracy supposedly to frame Trump for a crime that’s not a crime and which Trump did not commit.

      You see, it’s one thing publicly to proclaim one’s own innocence before one has even been charged with a crime. That’s perfectly legitimate. But it’s quite another thing to accuse one’s investigators of a conspiracy to commit misprision of justice against oneself before one has even been charged with a crime. That’s not legitimate at all. Why can’t Trump wait until Mueller charges Trump with an actual crime that Trump might very well have committed before Trump prematurely proclaims Mueller guilty of misprision of justice? Doesn’t Trump know who Mueller is?

      Yes, Natacha. I too am surprised that “Dotard is doing something [that] dumb . . .”

      1. Diane – after 7 FISA warrants, what crime has Carter Page been charged with?

        1. Paul, do not expect a direct answer or any answer at all. The facts do not meet Diane’s vision of the world.

  3. “Trump, however, is no longer litigating over construction zones but constitutional spaces.”

    Trump is a neophyte when it comes to the political world and doesn’t yet recognize that he requires a different type of legal advice for these issues as long as he is President. The actual issues involved are of little importance to any of us. The distraction is a major problem and can cause harm to all of us whether or not we voted for the President.

  4. There’s a lot of excitement here in the comments. But how is everyone doing with their 2017 tax returns? There are some lawyers who can help if the IRS thinks you’ve been cheating.

  5. Wake up Little Linda. I am not worried about the Russians, I am worried about the Deep State right here in the West.

    “It truly was Donald Trump against the global elites in 2016.
    The New York businessmen had to defeat the Republican Party, the dirty Obama regime, the Clinton crime family, the corrupt US media, globalist leaders and foreign governments.”

    “Julian Assange Drops a Bomb: Implicates British Government in Dirty Anti-Trump Dossier”

    1. Gateway Pundit? Laughing out loud. You going to Cosmo Pizza with a gun? Millions of us will be marching against you gateway pundit alt right NRA maniacs tomorrow.

          1. (The Daily Beast article upset some Turley commenters like the Media Matters article about bots in Kosovo, did).

            1. “Media Matters’ – propaganda straight from Soros and Brock.

              There was no Guccifer2.
              #SethRich is the viable answer as to how #WikiLeaks received the #DNC emails when you listen to all of the facts. Seth didn’t like how #HRC had hijacked the election cycle. His family/friends are failing his memory by allowing the truth to be buried 😞

              Anything to draw the attention away from the devious DNC, HRC and Seth RIch.

                  1. Diane – Snowden and his gf are in China now and seem to be working for the NSA

          2. Original Ken – you are over thinking it. Think about where you will be marching, parking your cars, etc.

        1. Or are ya gonna use explosives like that guy that killed da black people in Austin. Black Lives Matter.

        2. I will be marchin in Denver, don’t think you. Autumn, Squekkky and CV are showin up here.

          1. Original Ken – I am staying here where the weather is nice and the people are sane.

          2. OK, I don’t own a gun and certainly am not a NRA member. I’d love to come to Denver though – never seen it except passing thru DIA – I spent all my time in CO at Snowmass.

          1. Eric Watting – you are reading something into my words that isn’t there.

              1. L4D,..
                – There’s really no way of proving or disproving this, but I strongly suspect that any possibles curses that PCS may “be regaled with” have probably already been directed at you.
                Therefore, your claim that these “Schulte curses” will be “the likes of which the world has never seen” is false.

                1. Tom Nash – maybe its the specific combination of curses that the world has never seen? Other than that, she is just making stuff up. 🙂

          2. On January 1st, 2018, Ken said, “Da sheriff lives two blocks from me and he is democrat. Any T rumper stands by my house with a gun da sheriff will be right over and I will have you thrown in da clinker.”

            1. On January 1st, 2018, Paul C Schulte said, “Ken – the sheriff is going to end up dead on your front lawn, as are you when the revolution comes. Besides, what makes you think the sheriff will throw in with you when his life is on the line.”

              1. On March 23rd, 2018, Paul C. Schulte said, “Eric Watting – you are reading something into my words that isn’t there.”

                Also on March 23rd, 2018, Paul C. Schulte said, “Original Ken – bring your guns, you are going to need them.”

                1. Also on January 1st, 2018, Paul C Schulte said, “FishWings – just remember, we are more heavily armed than you are.”

                  1. Diane – the right wing is more heavily armed than the left wing. This is one of the reasons the left wing wants to disarm the right wing. Facts are facts. Obama did more for gun sales than any other President.

                  2. L4D, How does one locate certain prior comments like that? Is there a keyword search feature for the comments section on this blog?

                    1. I dunno. Ask Eric Watting. I think there’s a link somewhere on the main page featuring the word “archives.” But I’ve never clicked on it, before. If you find any choice curses from L4D, be sure to take them to heart, TBob.

                    2. So then I’m just curious, how did you locate each of PCS’s prior comments?

                    3. TBob–the Archives selection box is on the right hand side of the main page underneath the most recent posts queue.

                    4. “Plumbkin.” Look it up people. Check out its crude meaning. Anyone still think Late4Dinner is a granny in her 80s named “Diane”? Perhaps it’s true…but only if she’s one with a severe personality disorder.

                      L4D is correct: civility is unnatural…for L4D.

                2. Diane – do you see anything there that says I am going to personally attack them? Or have them attacked? I am an advocate of “An armed society is a polite society.” Again, do not read into my words what I do not put there. You should know better.

                  1. You were drunk and recuperating from your illness. And therefore sarchotic. Strike that. Psychasmic. O!Buggar! Go put an AK47 in your Skechers. You sarcastic psychotic patient, you.

                    1. Paul C. Schulte..
                      Lucy charged 5 Cents for a diagnosis… got an equally qualified diagnosis for FREE!

                    2. Tom Nash – I think Lucy was better qualified to diagnose and therefore worth the 5 cents.

              2. Diane – the video from Parkland proved my point. Four deputies stayed outside while the shooter was active. In most cities, the response time is 20 minutes for the police. What are you going to do until they show up?

                1. You will be regaled with curses the likes of which the world has never before heard.

                  1. “curses the likes of which the world has never seen”,
                    Sure it has….you’re just not aware of what is said about you, but “the world” is aware of those curses and curse words,

                    1. “curses that L4D is regaled with.
                      This accidently posted before I finished my reply.

                    2. Above: in which Nash claims he can “hear” the blinking photons of the little letters in his teeny-tiny text window cursing a blue streak however many inches long per scroll times however many scrolls..

                  2. Diane – yup, that’s gonna work. What kinda fantasy world do you live in?

                    1. I’m not the one who believes in shape-shifters. You are. Shoot the shape-shifters of your own fantasy world all you like, Caviler. But leave Ken be and FishWings, too. You pompous blowhard, you.

                    2. Diane – the Navajo believe in shape-shifters and I would not knock their beliefs, just as I do not knock the beliefs of my Mormon neighbors. I live and let live. Who knows, one of them could be right. 😉

      1. Conservative “values” like those that Ralph Peters described, “using scaremongering with lurid warnings of a deep state” and, O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, funded by a “charity” associated with the brothers, Koch and, by the Mercers.

        1. Who funded O’Keefe doesn’t change what O’Keefe obtained on tape. Your comment demonstrates how partisan you are and how little you care about the truth.

          Look at OKeefe’s videos. That is a type of journalism that used to be praised. He is showing what is not being told to us in real time and in the real words of those involved in shabby journalism and politics. If one doesn’t like oligarchs then one should appreciate this form of journalism that can be used to show the seedy side of those in power.

          Linda, you don’t care about the truth. You only care about promoting your Stalinist vision of the world.

          1. And, the woman trying to peddle a false story to the press about Roy Moore to make journalism look bad?
            Who, with an once of morality, would do that?

            1. A prankster with a sense of fun. Wash Post is so disreputable I’m surprised they didn’t take the bait

              1. O’Keefe is not a prankster. He is a serious journalist that would have won multiple Pulitzers and other prizes if he worked for the sleazy MSM.

            2. Linda, No false story was peddled by the O’Keefe team. There is a difference between using a bit of deception to gain entry into real news (exactly what was done by the muckrakers) and peddling stories one knows is false which is what O’Keefe has revealed.

              Linda must hate Jacob Riis for showing the terrible conditions in tenement buildings
              Ida Tarbell for exposing corruption in the oil industry
              Lincoln Steffens for exposing the corrupt alliance between big business and municipal government.
              Frank Norris described the power of the railroads over Western farmers
              Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, a novel, revealed details about the meat packing industry in Chicago.

              That is what O’Keefe does except in this case he burns the liars that you seek out for your arguments. If you hate the “Oligarchy” you would certainly want all of these muckrakers doing their work especially James O’Keefe who is doing his work in the present.

              1. ALlan, those were truly amazing journalists! Some indies are doing their best though via YouTube and Twitter. Upton Sinclair is one of my favorites.

                1. You are right. Those journalists did great things. One would think Linda approved of that type of journalism. So far, O’Keefe’s work has been excellent and very revealing.

                  1. You’re a hoot, Allan, The muckraking journalists mentioned exposed the truth (the Koch’s, if they had lived at the time, would have spent a fortune denying the truth).
                    The woman making up stuff about Roy Moore to trap legitimate journalists, was a liar.

                    1. O’Keefe exposes the truth and provides the truth on video. He does nothing different than former muckrakers that deceived those people they reported on. O’Keefe was not planting a story rather using the deceptive techniques (used by all) to get in the door and show the public what was happening.

                      You don’t like what the videos show. They are like a mirror exposing you naked to the world so you create arguments that deflect from the story which is in the videos he publishes.

      2. What’s your point OK? All media eff up sometimes – look at the number of redactions. And worse, look how they went along with the lies that led to the invasion of Iraq. Assange has never had to issue a redaction.

        1. Assange will develop credibility when he exposes the conservative/Putin-loving cabal. Or, he could release info. proving who murdered the Russian dissidents in England.

          1. Take note Linda that “Assange will develop credibility when he exposes the conservative”… That tells us you have absolutely no principles. For you, a credible source is only a source that agrees with you. That is pretty much how Stalin felt. Anything negative written about him was considered a lie that led to a bullet or the gulag.

            1. Allanonsense, Linda’s comment should be read as stating that Assange will have credibility when pigs fly and Autumn becomes a monkeys Auntie.

              1. The issue is whether or not one has principles they live with. Obviously, Diane, you have none.

    2. I am more worried about da warmongers T rump, Bolton, and Pompeii than da other deepstaters.

      1. Original Ken – has Trump invaded a country? Has he overthrown a government? No. So back your truck up.

        1. He has secrets wars goin and he is expanding da old ones. Bolton will help him invade Iran.

          1. Original Ken – if they are secret wars, how do you know about it? And you cannot count old wars.

      2. Ken, That is only because of your superficial knowledge of what is happening in the world.

        1. The last people successfully to invade Iran were The Mongols in the middle of the thirteenth century. The best that Bolton can get is airstrikes against Iran. Those will prove about as effective as the airstrikes on Tora Bora–not very. IOW, Trump is preparing to wag the dog, for real.

          1. “The Mongols in the middle of the thirteenth century”

            Ken is living in the modern age though perhaps he fits better in the thirteenth century. Try and stay on track.

    3. Wake up Little Linda.

      It’s not that Linda is asleep, she’s just wrong…all the time. She is so reliably wrong that if you ever find yourself agreeing with her, double-check. She’s like an anti-search engine. When she posts her keywords like Koch, oligarch, .1%, etc., I know immediately to move along.

    4. Amazing! This “Deep State” organization which you have so cleverly uncovered is alarming. It appears that through your dogged and indefatigable sleuthing, you have brought to light a nefarious cabal of ne’er-do-wells, cleary hell-bent on eradicating our ‘Merican way of life; our love of chips and salsa; fluoridating our precious bodily fluids; or some other likewise dastardly deed. Nice work detective, nice work.

      this is to ‘Inspector Gadget, at your service” allan

      1. “fluoridating our precious bodily fluids”

        Mark, Sounds like you have been practicing self-fluoridation. Stop munching on the rodent poison. Rodent poison is used to kill entities of your kind not to feed them.

      2. Mark M. please don’t pick on allen right now, I am working on selling him a bridge from LA to Hawaii and he wants to invest cause he read that Trump supports the bridge and tunnel………….

        1. FishWings you would probably pay double for such a bridge if told that not only does it go from LA to Hawaii, but it goes from Hawaii to LA.

            1. Yes in the land of stupidity where you reside on your belly and minimally function anyone with normal intelligence has to be king.

            2. FW- I’d like to read Nash’s diagnosis of Allen, particularly after he reads Allan’s comparison of O’Keefe and Ida Tarbell.

              1. Ida Tarbell spoke about people like Linda demonstrated in the second sentence. “I soon found that most of them wanted attacks. They had little interest in balanced findings. Now I was convinced that in the long run the public they were trying to stir would weary of vituperation, that if you were to secure permanent results the mind must be convinced.”

                Linda is totally unbalanced in her ideological positions and perhaps unbalanced psychologically.

      3. Marky Mark Mark – this is the sixth time you have rehashed old material. Brain cells dead? Can’t think of anything new?

        1. If the deep state is conspiring to frame Trump for a crime that is not even a crime and which Trump did not commit, anyway, then why hasn’t the deep state yet charged Trump with any crime at all–not even a crime that is a crime, let alone a crime that Trump may very well have committed? Is the all-powerful deep state hopelessly incompetent? Or is Trump trying to hide his finances behind a tweetwall laid by Schulte’s brothers at the Fraternal Order of Tin-Foil Hat Conventioneers (The Honorable Joe diGenova Presiding Tweet-Mason)???

          P. S. Please pardon my plagiarism, Mark M.

          1. Diane – Mueller is a prosecutor in search of a crime. Trump’s new lawyers know how to play with Mueller and his cabal.

            1. If you’re correct, those new lawyers will be competing with the “evangelical grifters, the conspiracy theorists and the t.v. talking heads” that surround Trump. Are the attorneys willing to sell the equity in their houses to write a $130,000 check to keep stories about Trump silent? Are they willing to take ownership for the damning tweets that the public logically assumes were written and transmitted by the President?
              Losing a law license or being reprimanded by the bar must weigh heavily when making a decision about how to represent a client who ignores legal advice and leaves lawyer fees unpaid.

  6. Trump just created new precedent that will limit not just himself but future presidents — precisely what some of us warned against.

    Good! Those that serve in government should not be able to hide from justice.

    1. A mixture of good and bad. I like the transparency, but I fear for the ability of the nation to function as well as it could because of the distraction.

  7. GRU headquarters on Grizodubovoy St. in Moscow were busy at the time that the DNC e-mails were hacked (Daily Beast article last night). If confirmed by Mueller, there’s just one more piece needed to sew up the charge in the case, provided by testimony from Flynn or….?

    Conservatives and Putin-lovers have painted themselves into the corner of being one and the same. Nunes should do his explaining from Moscow.

    1. That “article” has been debunked. Daily Beast = Chelsea Clinton mouth piece.

      1. Washington Post- “Facebook had a closer connection than it disclosed with the academic (Alexsandr Kogan)
        it called a liar”

      2. Rhetorically- the anonymizing service, Elite VPN, is it headquartered in Russia?
        Before the false flags to which you refer Autumn, “a computer security firm forensically tied Russia to the intrusion at DNC.” The Daily Beast, March 22, 2018

            1. “Adam Carter has quite reasonably posited that the G2.0 persona was created by people associated with Crowdstrike, a group close to the DNC that would have had the expertise to pull off the G2.0 scam. The founding CEO of Crowdstrike is Shawn Henry, who previously headed up cybersecurity at the FBI, described by the Washington Post at the time as the FBI’s “chief cyber cop”.

              So Crowdstrike’s CEO used to work at the FBI? Is that why the FBI relied on their report to exonerate HRC? What a twisted web.


      3. Autumn said, “That “article” has been debunked.”

        Autumn makes bald-faced assertions that this or that claim has been debunked because Autumn is quite perfectly incapable of debunking anything at all and never actually even attempts to debunk anything at all. The psychiatric community calls Autumn’s behavior by the name of denial. When coupled to a lame-brained conspiracy theory, Autumn’s denial subconsciously suppresses by means of dereistic thinking any and all evidence that Autumn psychologically needs to be suppressed in order to keep the lame-brained conspiracy theory at issue from being debunked. Autumn is pitiably incapable of facing reality.

          1. Special Counsel is working on it. The concern is that, after the charges are documented and the report written, Putin’s fans who are dogging American politics, will, with the help of Republicans like Nunes and the Mercers, deny the truth in an attempt to destabilize the country.

  8. Turley is mainly concerned here about Trump opening up future Presidents to vexatious lawsuits. But that was bound to come eventually anyway. No one in the US is above the law, so Trump and future Presidents will just have to deal with this. Courts can dismiss lawsuits that are obviously frivolous. But to get to that point, a defendant (Trump, et al.) may have to submit to testifying under oath in a deposition. That would be VERY painful for Trump. Further, if he refused to participate in a deposition or did not fully answer questions, he could be held in contempt of court. If he lies under oath – and that can be proven – he could be prosecuted for perjury. He is in for some troubling times.

  9. The use of lawyers ranges from the noble where every person is afforded equality before the law to perverse and nefarious where lawyers are used to negate the spirit of the law and obtain inequality by circumventing, obfuscating, and manipulating the law. In a nutshell, if you have the money, you can buy lawyers to design the legal process to your advantage.

    Trump has used lawyers to pervert the spirit of the law all his life, as did his father, as did and still do the Kushners and most other oligarchs. This circus going on right now is seen by Trump supporters as tenacity or regarding issues that are not important. Just as Trump will use lawyers to obtain taxpayer money set aside for low income housing where he uses it to fund mega projects for the mega wealthy, just as Trump will make billions on certain projects, avoid taxes through legal loopholes that he can afford with his lawyers, just as Trump will go bankrupt and not pay thousands of contractors-some lawyers-while leaving the scene of his accidents more wealthy than when he arrived, Trump uses the legal system(s) to his advantage, not for the advantages for which the legal system was designed. The legal system is constantly being designed by precedent. Trump sets precedents that design the legal system for his own advantages.

    The end justifying the means as an argument depends on the end. Thus far there has only been a circus of lies, incompetence, national debt explosion, billions increased in the pockets of those at the top, a roll back on social progress, pandering to special interests, nepotism, and an all around worn out routine that would go bankrupt in the entertainment world.

    Thank our heavenly stars that this country is strong enough to afford this sort of sideshow. Unfortunately it is one step forward and many more than two steps backward.

    1. Jared father is a convicted felon, who spent time in prison for his offenses. If what you were claiming were true, where so-called oligarchs manipulate the law, avoiding justice at every turn, a man, as wealthy and as connected as Kushner would never have been convicted. He would never have done time in prison. Perhaps, the next time, when you desperately attempt to make an argument, about how certain individuals can craft and manipulate the legal system to fit their needs, thereby, escaping justice, you may not want to mention the Kushner name, no matter how much it gets you off. Kushner was convicted. Kushner went to prison. That doesn’t jive with your whole, the “rich skate on their actions” diatribe. Next time, use the Clinton name in your rant. It makes more sense than using the name of a wealthy and connected person, like Kushner, who was actually convicted and sentenced for his crimes.

      1. Had Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, not become embroiled in a bitter dispute with his sister over the family estate, it’s doubtful that his sisters would have produced the State’s evidence that led to Charles Kushner’s conviction. When oligarchs wrangle with oligarchs, the normal privileges and immunities of wealth are temporarily suspended. Thus Isaac makes more sense than bam bam would ever admit.

        1. You live in a fantastical world of, if only, this. . .if only, that. . .if only he hadn’t tangled with relatives. . .if only those relatives had not been wealthy. If only i had been born with longer limbs and the ability to dance, I would’ve been a ballerina with the Bolshoi. Admit it. Of course, the wealthy have access to the best attorneys. Of course, it seems as if they avoid justice. That isn’t what I disputed, Diane, or whatever the Hell your name is today. I disputed the use of Jared Kushner’s dad as an example of wealth and privilege allowing one to avoid justice. Consequences. In his case, all of his wealth, all of his connections and all of his privilege did not serve to shield him from being convicted and sentenced to prison. Want to make a point about wealth, privilege and connections shielding one from accountability? Use the Clinton name. At least, there, it makes sense.

          Yes, Diane, learn to read. Many have, indeed, managed to escape justice–Jared’s father was not one of them, no matter how much you want to throw the name around.

      2. bb

        What I wrote stands as factual. That there are, sometimes, exceptions and the mega rich actually do get nabbed does not negate in any way whatsoever what I wrote. The Kushner business has been found lying regarding the number of rent controlled units in the buildings they transact, using taxpayer money slated for low income housing to bail out projects for the mega rich, and an unending list of legal activities that are only available to the mega rich. Trump is a master of the manipulation of the law for his advantage. The list of people who could not afford the legal armies of suits and had to take it, without vaseline, is too long to visit. Clinton’s pathetic defense using semantics and other legal confusion is nothing compared to how Trump and others like him use money to buy what would put the average person in jail.

        So, if you want to argue for argument’s sake, think a bit first. You come off as a protecter of the right of oligarchs to buy our freedoms when the average person can’t afford them. Include the Clinton’s, Bushes, Nixons, ad infinitum if you wish, but get your facts straight.

        1. My facts are straight. I agree with what you previously wrote–just follow the bouncing ball. You cite the Kushner name with regard to those who have avoided justice. My point was simple–relax and just read, for a change. Jared’s father, contrary to what you wrote, did NOT escape justice. Yes. You mentioned the Kushner family, in particular. Your unsubstantiated claims, about the family business, are just that–unsubstantiated. Yes, I know that we live in a world, where wild accusations are the norm and supporting facts and evidence are no longer required, but just stick with the facts. The fact of the matter is, despite his wealth, connections and associations, Jared’s father is a convicted felon who served time in prison. As such, the reference to his family name made no sense. I merely pointed out the inaccuracy of your choice in offering up the Kushner name. Contrary to what you stated, what happened to Jared’s father actually serves to prove that regardless of one’s wealth and connections, one will have to face the piper.

          1. bb

            The Kushner family continues to profit due in part to their financial position in that they can manipulate the laws using almost infinite legal mumbo jumbo, the threat of unending legal costs to the taxpayers and individuals, etc. That Kushner senior is in jail because he got caught does not alter the facts I presented. You perform as does one of these slime ball lawyers but with next to no substance, legal wherewithal, or other weaponry. Your ‘yeahbuts’ are pathetic and irrelevant to my points.

            Trump is no different than the Kusners, including Kushner senior. The big difference is that he has not been caught yet in a situation where proof outweighed the legal mumbo jumbo he can afford. What makes this present situation so interesting is the answer to the ultimate question here; will Trump, as President, with next to unlimited legal weaponry, get his comeuppance and be seen for what he is, a lying sack of s&*$, who has made his way through unlimited wealth, privilege, connections, and manipulation of the law; all inherited with little integrity if any at all. The guy donates other people’s money to his charities and puts his name on the gift. The guy buys porn stars to satisfy himself while his wife is at home taking care of their new born. The guy boasts about lying to the leaders of other nations as being some sort of ability. The guy backs down from every move he makes. We have an oligarch for a President who is not much more than Putin, Kim, Dutrarte, Erdogan or many of the other dictators. We can only thank our heavenly stars for our governments ‘check and balance’ system, however pathetic it is. We have two parties, one more than a dictatorship. Some in those parties actually have some minerals. That the Republican Party has not caved completely is the only saving grace for this nation. Electing the likes of Trump is beyond scary. It is a call to action. We must take the concentrated personal and corporate wealth out of our election process. Think, of the choice of candidates if they were bought and paid for through a limit of $100 per registered voter and not billions through billionaires and special interests. Why we might be able to hold our heads up there with all the rest of the more advanced governments that do it the proper way.

  10. Turley wrote, “Information, like water, tends to find its way out against even the strongest walls. In the meantime, the costs of this wall (stretching across multiple states and disputes) will continue to rise for the office of the presidency.”

    Trump’s wall is the flimsiest of all possible walls, since it is made, not of stone, but entirely of tweets laid by the Fraternal Order of Tin-Foil Hat Conventioneers (FOTFHC), who are also Trump’s lawyers, now. Recall what Turley wrote a week or so ago about Cohen’s NDA with Stormy: If we all close our eyes, nobody can see us. It’s not possible to hide anything at all, least of all The Trump Organization’s financial records, behind a tweetwall. And the lame-brained conspiracy theories laid by FOTFHC will not discredit the special counsel’s investigation anywhere else beyond the defensive perimeter of the tweetwall.

    Trump and his crack(pot) legal team are now simultaneously pronouncing Trump’s innocence whilst regaling Mueller with so many more mere Bronx cheers–thumbed noses and all. Translation: Trump has nothing to hide and Mueller has no business investigating Trump’s business, anyway. It’s only a matter of time before the FOTFHC will be reduced to arguing that laundering money for the Russians ought never to have been made a crime in the first place. Good luck with that legal theory.

    Trump never should have been allowed to run.

    1. And the whole republican party now owns whats to happen. And they do not care, they got what they wanted.

      1. The Pubs got the tax cuts for their rich friends. That is all they wanted. We are gonna vote em out in Nov. They don’t give a damn about ordinary people with bills to pay. Some serious hearings about da crooked T rump Clan can start come January.

  11. According to JT, Trump needs to focus on continuity with regard to his representation. And, why is that, JT? For the sake of appearances, alone? Trump is being attacked from every side; surely, you aren’t suggesting that he should remain with those with whom he has lost faith or trust, any more than attorneys, with a client who proves to be unmanageable, should be forced to remain in an attorney-client relationship which has dissolved. I wonder, JT, if you would use the same advice, with a loved one, going through an acrimonious and bitter divorce. . .or, with a loved one, facing years in prison for some crime? Would you tell those individuals to remain with their attorneys, for the sake of continuity, alone, even if the results and the progress with regard to their cases were not as they expected? Of course you wouldn’t. You would want them to retain those who could garner the best results. If doing so that meant changing attorneys, midstream, I would assume that you would advise doing just that. Why is Trump so different? The answer–he isn’t. He is trying to find the person or the people who can get the best results.

    1. Turley’s legal advise to Trump can readily be gleaned from Turley’s original posts on this blawg over the course of the past nine months, at least. Impeach the credibility of potential witnesses against one’s client while persistently raising reasonable doubt about the charges against one’s client. If the client is Trump, then an additional goal would be to prevent Trump from being charged with a crime in the first place. Attacking the authority of the law to investigate one’s client is not likely to accomplish any of those goals. Nor is that strategy likely to end the investigation any time soon.

      Moreover, if Trump arranges an interview with Mueller while attacking the authority of the law to investigate Trump, then Trump is in for the rudest awakening of his life, thus far. If Trump asserts his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during such an interview with Mueller just once, Mueller would immediately subpoena Trump to testify before a grand jury. So how many times would Trump have to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during Trump’s grand jury testimony?

      Turley’s legal advise is better than bam bam’s.

      1. Learn to read. I merely stated that individuals can and do have the right to change representation. Quite simple. Quite clear. The courts, with whom you are unfamiliar, are filled with individuals who, routinely, plow through attorneys, for any myriad of reasons. Sure, it doesn’t look good, but what are the alternatives? Force individuals to remain, together, when there has been a total and complete breakdown of communication and trust? That is not the way the legal system works. Both the clients and attorneys have avenues of escape. Those avenues are built into the system. Those are the facts. Continuity, for the sake of continuity, when a client no longer has trust or faith in his attorneys, or, when attorneys can no longer work with a client, is pure nonsense.

        1. Turley wrote, “Trump has long valued lawyers with pitbull, if not rabid, reputations. One lawyer appears to have been particularly influential. In March 2016, Trump reportedly asked in frustration “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” Cohn was an infamous New York lawyer who played a key role in the McCarthy hearings and various scandals. He represented Trump for many years.”

          bam bam wrote, “Learn to read.”

          Trumpettes, such as bam bam, never heed the advise they give to others.

          1. Trump wants a pitbull. Big deal. Anyone, with half of a brain, wants the same, representing his or her interests in court. It’s not a popularity contest. Some of the best and brightest aytorneys, on the planet, are not nice, good and kind people. You want to crucify Trump for the sentiment. He is absolutely correct in what he said. I don’t blame him. Not one bit. While one may not have wanted to date or marry Cohn, and he was eventually caught up in some nasty stuff, no one could deny that he was one tough, shrewd, capable, talented, strong and smart attorney. The kind, which, if you only had the resources and money of Trump, you would desperately chase to represent you when you were in a bind.

            Yes. Learn to read, Diane, or whatever your name of the day may be.

              1. P. S. Trumps new lawyers are not pitbulls. They are tin-foil hat conventioneers accusing Mueller of misprision of justice before Mueller has even charged Trump with any crime at all. Does bam bam have any idea at all about just how incomparably stupid it is for Trump’s new lawyers to accuse Mueller of misprision of justice before Mueller has even charged their client, Trump, with any crime at all???

            1. If there is a conspiracy to frame Trump for a crime that is not even a crime and which Trump did not commit, anyway, then why hasn’t Trump yet been charged with any crime at all–not even a crime that is a crime, let alone a crime that Trump may very well have committed???

              If bam bam keeps on reading L4D, then bam bam might someday learn how to think for herself instead of being stuck thinking whatever she is told to think.

  12. If these old, desperate broads, seeking their respective fifteen minutes of fame, in the spotlight, mistakenly believe that they can, somehow, reserve for themselves, a respectable place history, by challenging the President at this hour and in this manner, then these bimbos are more stupid and brain dead than anyone could ever imagine. Trailblazers? Is that what they fancy themselves? Modern day heroes, seeking to carve out a place in history, where they represent women and their struggle for equality and dignity? Laughable. They are, instead, the polar opposite. Far from being any sort of trailblazers, they merely serve to confirm the notion that these beings were, and continue to be, nothing more than common prostitutes. Whores. Women, so desperate for advancement, for glory and for fame, that they are willing to be used, abused and manipulated, yet another time in their miserable lives–this time, however, to attack a sitting President, which, I assume, in their minds, makes them into heroines, of some measure. These women have lived lives in which they sold their bodies and their souls for a few shekels–while some may paint that as freedom, others, like me, perceive the complete opposite in their past pattern of self-inflicted abuse and denigration. Those, who truly honor their sexuality and their bodies, don’t make their living by participating in porn films or spreading themselves, naked, across centerfolds. These women allowed themselves to be used and abused, years ago, by seeking money and fame via participation in such self-abusive and denigrating acts, and the self-abusive pattern continues, today, only this time, they are allowing themselves to be manipulated and used in another way. Same lack of basic, self-respect. Same lack of basic, pride and dignity. This time, instead of some lowlife porn director or Playboy photographer, telling these fools that they could be next Marilyn Monroe, these women are being used, on this occasion, by other con artists. Those dedicated to destroying the President. Those obsessed with distracting the President. Instead of elevating women, these women, once again, are being used. Abused. Sacrificed for the pleasure and jollies of others. Pimped out. Once again, they are being manipulated to sell themselves, in an attempt to benefit others, by those no more decent than common day pimps. Yes. Pimps, using and manipulating these women, who, obviously have a weakness for being used and manipulated. . .only this time, it isn’t to line the pockets of some porn director. Nahhh. That would be too obvious. This time, these women are being sacrificed to advance a cause. A purpose. Just another side to the same disgusting coin. How sad and pathetic that more don’t get that. Don’t get that these women are being used, another time in their lives, for the benefit of others. This isn’t the about the advancement of women; it’s the polar opposite. The complete and total denigration of women, where their lives are expendable as long as others can profit from them. So much for the advancement of women.

    1. bam bam said, “How sad and pathetic that more don’t get that . . . these women are being used, another time in their lives, for the benefit of others.”

      bam bam also said, “If these old, desperate broads, seeking their respective fifteen minutes of fame, in the spotlight, mistakenly believe that they can, somehow, reserve for themselves, a respectable place history, by challenging the President at this hour and in this manner, then these bimbos are more stupid and brain dead than anyone could ever imagine.”

      How sad and pathetic that bam bam cannot empathize with women who are being used for the benefit of others without also deriding those women as old, desperate broads and stupid and brain dead bimbos seeking fifteen minutes of fame by challenging the respectable place in history that bam bam would award to Trump.

  13. Yes, I don’t know why Trump chooses to involve himself in so many lawsuits. Litigation is very time consuming and costly. Perhaps Trump could apply the same methods that the Clinton gang used to silence and eliminate any such opposition, instead of pursuing this incessant litigation. Sure, the leftist media would start discussing the odd coincidences of mysterious deaths under mysterious circumstances and would refer to each new event as part of the “Trump Body Count.” But then Trump and his team could just Tweet out about the substantial “Clinton Body Count” and the nation would just call it even-Stevens.

    1. Ralph Adamo – maybe the Clintons would be kind enough to pass on who does their wet work for them.

  14. No competent lawyer will knowingly undertake the representation of a client who routinely disregards his advice and just as routinely speaks when wisdom demands silence. When one occasionally finds himself in that situation, a swift but respectful withdrawal is essential. Even the prestige of representing the most powerful man in the world has its limits.

  15. Trump is entering new territory and needs lawyers with new specialties. Since about 90% of the lawyers donated to the DNC it is difficult for him to find the right lawyers to fit his needs.

    1. Paul

      The refusal of top quality legal talent to represent Trump has very little, if anything, to do with the political leanings of that top quality legal talent.

      Trump is the ultimate nightmare client.

      Trump is the ultimate nightmare client.

      1. No lawyer wants to go down in history for helping his client Trump – the President – indicted for perjury or found to be in contempt of court.

      1. FishWings – 90% of the lawyers donated to the DNC. Do you want one who donated to the DNC to take your case against the DNC? Seems like a conflict of interest. What Trump needs to do is hire Hillary to run a bimbo eruption squad for him until he is out of office. She did it for Bill and it only cost them $850k.

          1. YNOT – no one has used tinfoil for years unless you bought in bulk sometime back. Read the package, assuming you have purchased some in the last 20 years.

            1. From the Wikipedia article on Tin Foil Hat:

              “A tin foil hat is a hat made from one or more sheets of aluminium foil, or a piece of conventional headgear lined with foil, worn in the belief or hope that it shields the brain from threats such as electromagnetic fields, mind control, and mind reading. The notion of wearing homemade headgear for such protection has become a popular stereotype and byword for paranoia, persecutory delusions, and belief in pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.

              Note that “tin foil” is a common misnomer for aluminium foil; packaging metal foil was formerly made out of tin before it was replaced with aluminium.”

              Paul Caviler Schulteacher is evidently unaware of the fact that a true statement is not necessarily relevant to an argument just because it is a true statement. Because of his lack of awareness on that count, the nature and extent of relevance itself remains forever beyond the ken of Paul Caviler Schulteacher. And there is no amount of aluminum foil hat refinement–such as moose antlers, for instance–that will ever attenuate Paul Caviler Schulteacher’s reception of the very concept of irrelevance, either.

              1. Diane – you use Wikipedia you have a 50/50 shot of getting correct information.

  16. This is in from Cloud 9. Trump just tweeted: “Pork em if ya gottem.”

    I am going to look at photos of all the women with whom he had sex with. If they are all foxy then I will vote for Trump again. He made the right choices. This is what America is all about. Why is Megan Kelly all dolled up on TV? She is there to entice. Entice for what? Not a conversation of intelligence. No. To get the men to watch her show and for her to then get paid. It is all about laid in the shade.

      1. LB’s “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People” is one of the best self-help books published since Dale Carnegie. 😉

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