- President Donald Trump has been rejected by another set of attorneys he reached out to about joining his legal-defence team in the Russia investigation.
- The lawyers, Tom Buchanan and Dan Webb, said “business conflicts” will prevent them from representing the president, multiple news outlets reported on Monday night.
- One lawyer that Trump lined up last week has had to back out as well, citing similar reasons. Trump lost John Dowd, the top attorney on his Russia investigation team, last week.
President Donald Trump has reportedly been turned down by a new set of attorneys as he seeks to bolster his legal-defence team in the Russia investigation.
The lawyers, Tom Buchanan and Dan Webb, of the law firm Winston & Strawn declined Trump’s invitation, citing “business conflicts,” multiple news outlets reported on Monday night.
A spokeswoman for the firm said in a statement that Buchanan and Webb consider the opportunity to represent the president “the highest honour and they sincerely regret that they cannot do so.”
The statement continued: “They wish the president the best and believe he has excellent representation in Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow,” the primary attorneys on Trump’s current legal team.
Joseph diGenova, an attorney that Trump indicated he would hire last week has also had to back out, because he and his wife and law-firm partner, Victoria Toensing, currently represent other parties involved in the Russia investigation.
In the world of high-profile legal cases, conflicts of interest, if not addressed early, can be devastating on multiple fronts. Because of this, an acute awareness of such an issue is necessary.
“In conflict-of-interest theory, it is not only the reality of a conflict of interest, but also an appearance of one, that is considered undesirable,” said Beth Nolan, the general counsel of George Washington University.
Trump lost his top attorney in the Russia probe last week. The lawyer, John Dowd, had only days earlier called for special counsel Robert Mueller to end the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election. Shortly after he resigned, Dowd said he wants Mueller to interview him.
Experts have suggested that Trump is a difficult client, who has a tendency to go his own way and speak freely about legal matters.
Former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg told Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth last week that the behaviour, among other challenges, creates an environment in which there are “too many conflicting power centres” on Trump’s defence team.