As if the news surrounding former President Donald Trump’s indictment wasn’t sensational enough, Friday morning came news that two of the lawyers working on the case for him, Jim Trusty and John Rowley, have now resigned.
Two lawyers who represented Donald Trump in the months before the former president was indicted on federal charges over his handling of classified documents quit working for him Friday morning.
The attorneys, Jim Trusty and John Rowley, did not explain in detail why they had resigned, other than to say that “this is a logical moment” to do given his indictment Thursday in U.S. District Court in Miami.
While some interpreted the announced parting of ways as Trump reverting to his “Apprentice” modus operandi…
Aaaaand apparently he just fired him. https://t.co/97PuPrOxQQ— Rob Stutzman 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@RobStutzman) June 9, 2023
…Trump himself left ambiguous who fired whom. On Truth Social, he stated:
For purposes of fighting the Greatest Witch Hunt of all time, now moving to the Florida Courts, I will be represented by Todd Blanche, Esq., and a firm to be named later. I want to thank Jim Trusty and John Rowley for their work, but they were up against a very dishonest, corrupt, evil, and “sick” group of people, the likes of which has not been seen before. We will be announcing additional lawyers in the coming days. When will Joe Biden be Indicted for his many crimes against our Nation? MAGA!
Immediately following news of the indictment, Trusty told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that Trump’s legal team did not have the indictment itself in hand, but that they had received a summons, via email, from the DOJ setting forth the charges.
BREAKING: Trump lawyer Jim Trusty tells @kaitlancollins that they do not have indictment, but have received a summons via email from DOJ which refers to charges including:— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCNN) June 9, 2023
1. Espionage Act Charge
2. Several Obstruction Charges
3. False Statements Charges
4. Conspiracy Charge https://t.co/wPvUdJ19ry
Whoever fired whom, news of the legal team split appears rather abrupt, as reports following the indictment laid out the team’s anticipated strategy.
A law enforcement official reported that the U.S. Secret Service will meet Friday with Trump’s staff and security officers, and the Secret Service officers assigned to the former President will develop a plan for his travel and appearance for arraignment.Another source close to Trump says that his lawyer “[James] Trusty knows the Special Counsel [Jack Smith]” and is expected to work with Trump co-counsel John Rowley and [attorney] Lindsey Halligan on the next legal maneuver, which is anticipated to be a motion to dismiss or a formal attempt to question the Special Counsel with specific regard to Jay Bratt, the DOJ’s Chief of Counterintelligence. Bratt is accused of prosecutorial misconduct by a lawyer representing a witness in the case.
What will the newly retained (for this matter) Blanche bring to the table? Possibly a cohesive strategy as the former president squares off against multiple indictments from multiple jurisdictions. Blanche was hired by Trump in April to represent him regarding the indictment secured by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.
Former President Donald Trump has hired a top white-collar criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, Todd Blanche, as his lead counsel to handle the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal indictment of the former president.
Blanche, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, has previously represented Trump ally Paul Manafort as well as Igor Fruman, a onetime associate of Rudy Giuliani who pleaded guilty in a campaign finance case brought by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office.
In particular, Blanche’s representation of Manafort may have caught Trump’s eye. Blanche led the successful effort to get mortgage fraud and other charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney’s office dropped after arguing they would amount to double jeopardy because the state charges covered the same conduct for which Manafort had already been tried on a federal level.