I’m not being snarky. It IS an interesting question if you actually think about it.
We all know Trump paid for lawyers for a lot of minions in the wake of having to leave the WH and knowing he would be facing Congressional and DOJ investigations. He also knew an awful lot of people knew things that he didn’t want them telling to Congress, the FBI etc. We also know, from a handful of brave people (most notably Cassidy Hutchinson) that a Trump provided lawyer pretty much counseled clients to “keep their mouths shut” which I suppose most attorneys would do, but with a twist. “Shade” things or flat-out lie (i.e. say “I don’t recall” when in fact the client DID recall) which would protect Trump but put the client in legal jeopardy.
Like I said, there were enough people who saw/heard enough things that a lot of these underlings couldn’t be sure if someone else (maybe more than one) decided to cover their own butt and dropped a dime on them. Still, lawyers for this level of trouble are expensive and some schlub working on a govt. salary can ill-afford a six-figure defense. Hell, a lot of them were probably still paying off college loans! So, with Trump offering them a lawyer at “no cost” it’s easy to see how they’d jump at it. Of course there was/is a cost as we all know. So do the people (many of them at least) who accepted Trump’s “help.”
That they’d have to risk legal exposure of their own, to put Trump’s interests ahead of their own if necessary. Suddenly that “free” lawyer wasn’t for free after all.
From Hutchinson’s testimony we saw during the January 6 Committee hearings we got a look at how this has worked in practice. She and a handful of others realized that for Trump anyone, ANYONE was expendable. Anyone who thinks the lawyers he has been paying to represent the Hutchinson’s of Trump World that didn’t see the light as she did, who doesn’t understand that first and foremost for the guy paying their lawyer’s bill and “advising” them accordingly (as in putting Trump first) is kidding themselves. I’m sure there are quite a few Walt Nauta types out there who believe in their hearts Trump will never throw THEM under the bus, and/or even that he will get re-elected and pardon them.
Trump has a word to describe such people. Suckers. Or Losers. Or a double barrel blast of Sucker & Losers, punctuated by an evil laugh.
However earlier this evening I saw yet another news piece on Trump’s money problems when it comes to the legal bills. In fact it’s been getting a fair amount of attention in the last week or so. Trump might have raised a lot of money, but he’s been shelling it out hand over fist and gotten to the point of robbing the Peter PAC to cover the Paul PAC to cover legal bills. And perhaps breaking laws in THAT regard. Like he didn’t already have enough legal problems! Clearly for all the Trump Org’s supposed worth (and yes, he’s got real estate assets that are worth some serious money even now) he’s not what’s known as “liquid.” He’s got cash flow problems. And what would have been his “go to guys”, Pootie and the Oligarchs have problems of their own these days. Not to mention they’ve already fronted him tons of money they now know he can’t pay back, and that he’s NOT going to be President again and be able to eventually take care of them.
The Saudis? They bailed Jared out of his 666 boondoggle, and then more recently fronted HIM a couple of billion. They know U.S. politics better than Trump and that Trump’s not going to be President again. And that “goodies” he’d been teasing them with, classified information has been recovered by our govt. AND that as damage assessment has gone on some of what Trump had isn’t as valuable as it once would have been. So, I doubt that’s going to be a source of income for him either. China? Don’t make me laugh.
All that leaves Trump in an interesting spot. The walls are closing in, slowly but inexorably and perhaps even speeding up. And, as bad as it is it’s only going to get worse. At night sometimes he’s having cold sweats not just about how bad things are, but getting hit with the realization that it’s actually worse. Remember the garbage compactor scene in Star Wars when someone says things could be worse and the monster makes that noise? Trump is like a non-heroic version of Harrison Ford saying “It’s worse!”
The RNC is broke because major donors have stopped giving to them and Trump’s co-opted their small donor fundraising. That’s not getting it done for Trump anymore. Also, a lot of mega donors are insanely rich because they don’t like throwing good money after bad investments and it seems few of them view Trump as a good bet nowdays. Bad as Democrats having control for four years would be, Trump crashing the whole damn system would be worse, and more so because the know he’s got a Nixon like enemies list and every one of them who’s hesitated to shovel major donations his way is on it!
All that brings me back to the original question. Suppose Trump is forced to concentrate solely on himself? Stops paying lawyers for others? Anyone think those lawyers are going to keep working for their secondary (to Trump) clients? I sure as hell don’t. Suddenly a lot of them are going to no longer have legal counsel and they know they’ll need it, and do what Hutchinson and a precious few others did a long time ago. Go out and find their own lawyer who will start working to try and pull their chestnuts out of the fire. Get them some type of deal. Jack Smith’s team will have more people providing more evidence against Trump than he will ever need.
I foresee a full on Lord (of the MAGA World) Flies coming.
(Note to the Lincoln Project: Surely you folks can do something with this. Footage of Trump talking about being “really, really rich”, coughing up a billion if need be to self-fund his campaign and not be beholden to anyone and so on. Compared to his fundraising pitches and his current legal fee problems. Come guys. Skewering him on this should be child’s play for you!)