Sunday, August 6, 2023
Former President Trump's counsel of the past have faced a lot of questions, and may face more if they are called as witnesses in one of his upcoming trials. Questions such as attorney-client privilege, the crime-fraud exception, and perhaps even questions revolving around an advice of counsel defense may be on the horizon. These cases will offer many issues for discussion.
Two of his current counsel (Drew Findling and John Lauro) are individuals who have handled many criminal defense cases, and in some instances very successfully for a defendant. In this regard we are likely to see many pre-trial motions and there may also be a possibility of appeals to resolve legal issues prior to trial.
Drew Findling, a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a member of the esteemed American Board of Criminal Lawyers, is not an attorney who shies away from trial. Unlike some former prosecutors who are now criminal defense counsel, Attorney Findling knows his way around a courtroom and has successfully defended a long list of clients including many in the hiphop world (see here). If an indictment is handed down in Georgia, this likely last case against Trump may be primed to be the first case that goes to trial. But here again, legal issues may be raised with attempts to get appellate rulings that could stall the legal process.
In the DC case, we see Attorney John Lauro, an experienced white collar attorney, as one of the lead counsel for Mr. Trump. He spent the day on many TV talk shows and also did this heart-to-heart talk with David Oscar Marcus (here). One argument that Lauro will likely be making in his court arguments is that he needs more time to prepare for trial. But the prosecution may come back noting the many interviews that he did have time for today.
A key factor in many of these cases will be timing. Will the defense want to go to trial as was the case of a speedy trial being granted to the late-Senator Ted Stevens who went to trial about 40 days prior to Alaskans voting in his Senate race? Or will the defense want to stall trials for fear of a conviction prior to the election? And as discovery starts rolling out, will the defense position change? Will the discovery prove detrimental to his political aspirations, perhaps even hurt his political ambitions, and if that happens will Trump perhaps be the one asking for a speedy trial?