A new book that investigates the power wielded by top US law firms contains a rather interesting anecdote about former President Donald Trump from long before he took office.
The upcoming exposé from David Enrich of The New York Times focuses largely on Jones Day, one of the biggest law firms in the world. The Ohio-based firm has a long history of supporting conservative political causes and has gone on to hire a number of attorneys connected to Donald Trump and his administration since their retirement from government. It now represents Mr Trump’s political action committees.
The Guardian reports that one portion of the book also describes how Mr Trump, at the time a businessman based in New York, attempted to cover a hefty legal bill from an attorney with a deed to a horse supposedly valued at $5m.
“This isn’t the 1800s. You can’t pay me with a horse,” the shocked attorney reportedly replied.
The ex-president is reported to have encountered issues in attracting seasoned attorneys to his ongoing legal efforts following the disastrous efforts of his 2020 campaign legal team to overturn the election results.
One member of his former legal team, Rudy Giuliani, was suspended from practising law in New York state as a consequence of spreading false claims and conspiracies about the election results, while another member, Sidney Powell, is facing a potential reprimand or disbarrment in Texas. Still others, including Mr Giuliani, are thought to be targets of a criminal investigation in Georgia resulting from those same efforts.
Mr Trump is currently facing legal battles on many fronts. New York’s attorney general continues to seek to hold him accountable for alleged fraud committed by his company, the Trump Organization, while he now also faces a Justice Department-led investigation into the mishandling and illegal retention of classified documents.
Separately, the DoJ is running a grand jury investigation out of Washington DC focused on the January 6 attack on Congress, while he could also potentially be a person of interest in the Georgia investigation into efforts to overturn that state’s results given his now-infamous phone call urging the secretary of state to “find” thousands of votes in his favour.
The mounting legal pressure has led to the ex-president repeatedly and viciously denouncing the FBI and DoJ while claiming that his political enemies are conspiring against him.