All the top dogs are now in for the count. Trump.45 already has three name attorneys (as topmost dog), joined by Pence, Kushner, Sessions, Flynn, Manafort, and a growing list of stalwart worthies.
The unalloyed good news for taxpayers is that this gaggle of $1,500.00 per hour high priced legal beef is not being paid for by any federal tax dollars. The tab falls to all the worthies individually on their own tabs. Though, in truth, most of the legal expenses which will run into millions, taken as a group whole, will most likely be tax deductible when the smarty pants accountants get through with their creative massage of the spending circumstances.
So, in the end, America’s taxpayers will probably be on the indirect hook for perhaps 25%-30% of their total private investment to stay out of trouble, jail, or impeachment wrangles, depending on their individual circumstances, and how well the fellows follow competent legal advice going forward.
What the latest legal eagle sign up by U.S. Attorney General Sessions does accomplish, however, is to give the big fat blatant lie to the recent advice by Trump.45’s lead private Anti-Impeachment Attorney, Marc Kasowitz to assembled White House staffers that they need not be worried legally, and there was no sensible reason for them to acquire their own private legal representation. It would all work out.
Now only the deaf, dumb, and blind (simultaneously) among these staffers and senior aides and advisors will be resting comfortably at night without retained skilled, private white collar or criminal defense counsel.
And many of these folks, while making good money compared to average American salaries, are mostly not in the millionaire class that Trump.45 and his best friends and lawyers like to hang out with. In other words, legal fees of $1,000 or more per hour for an extended risk period of months to years, while Special Counsel Mueller grinds slowly but exceedingly fine through the evidence mountains, will result in cumulative legal bills easily rising to low to mid six figure amounts.
In other words, it will be like these lower level government employees just bought a new vacation home or small house in the DC area, all courtesy of their Beloved Leader, without their consent.
While it is theoretically possible that some years down the road, some of their private legal expenses might be eligible for reimbursement if everything is squeaky clean, the actual chances are slim and none, no better than the Biblical odds of the camel and the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24).
Now that is a serious positive morale builder, no doubt, for the folks who do the work in the Administration beyond speechifying. You can reasonably expect to see an emerging pattern of early exits, transfers back to old jobs if they will have them, and a corresponding reluctance of newbies to take the plunge and join up for the cause. This will only worsen the already noticeable and deepening crisis for Trump.45’s poor record of filling federal jobs at mid to senior levels.
A really smart young staffer will sit out the next couple of rounds, and if the investigations look like they are running out of steam in 12-18 months, revisit the golden opportunity to join the Glorious New Trump.45 Make America Great Again Administration Tem on its way to inevitable victory.
That way, their personal credit cards and existing 401K Retirement Accounts will not have been fried to a crisp or fused with the financial roadway. Smart personal move, whatever Trump.45’s private lawyer looking out only for the interests of his number one and only client may advise others.
An even smarter current staffer might try and arrange an unobtrusively quiet exit now and watch the fireworks from a relatively protected sideline perch going forward. Even that separation won’t immunize them from any activity that has already taken place since January 20th, or during the campaign if they were among Trump.45’s chosen few early adopters, back as far as 2015 or earlier (see the jeopardy of Flynn, Manafort, etc.)
As any experienced hand or government employee in Washington can attest, deciding which job records and emails must be preserved for future investigative use and scrutiny is a losing proposition, since FBI investigator types always want everything, regardless. Down to the sales tags, parking vouchers, and cash receipts (less than $25).
Even a purely innocent forgetfulness can land a body in big time trouble, even if a person intended to do nothing else wrong, except deep six a few inconsequential papers. The Paper Trail is a Sang and a Bitch, Man. So is suffering from a semi-permanent crick in the neck from constantly looking over one’s shoulder.
So much for the nitty-gritty financial conundrum resulting from a full scale Special Counsel inquiry.
The Catalogue of Trump’s Senior Lawyered Ups So Far (Partial)
Here is a representative catalogue of private lawyer sightings for the affected Trump.45 cohort members sucked into his vortex,, as they become known or announced.
June 20, 2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions has hired Chuck Cooper as his private attorney.
June 16, 2017: Trump’s personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen has hired Stephen Ryan (McDermott, Will and Emery law firm, Washington DC) as his private attorney.
June 16, 2017: President Trump has hired John M. Dowd as another private attorney (three so far).
June 15, 2017: Vice President Mike Pence has hired Richard Cullen (McGuireWoods law firm, Richmond Virginia) as his private attorney.
June 9, 2017: President Trump has hired Jay Sekulow (American Center for Law & Justice, Regents University, Virginia) as his private attorney (second banana).
May 25, 2017: Senior Advisor Jared Kushner has hired Jamie S. Gorelick (WilmerHale law firm, Washington, DC) as his private attorney.
As with all things Teump.45 related, nothing is simple. As of June 19, Kushner has been advised to consider hiring a different criminal defense counsel to replace and or join Ms. Gorelick. Why?
Gorelick and Mueller were partners at the law firm WilmerHale. For those who may have enjoyed the fantasy that a potential conflict among former law partners would bump Mueller from the probe can enjoy their cold shower. If anyone is removed from the track it is Kushner’s private lawyer Gorelick and not Special Counsel Mueller. Oh, well. Just one more difference between real world, high stakes law practice versus the Trumpian business world fantasy model.
One likely candidate for the new job is Abbe D. Lowell.
May 23, 2017: President Donald Trump has hired Marc Kasowitz (Kasowitz Benson Torres law firm, New York City) as his private attorney (first chair).
March 31, 2017: Former National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn (Ret.) has hired Robert Kelner as his private attorney
March 24, 2017: Former Trump 2016 Campaign Manger Paul Manafort has hired Reginald Brown (WilmerHale law firm, Washington DC) as his private attorney.
Date Uncertain: Former Trump Campaign Aide Michael Caputo has hired Dennis Vacco as his private attorney.
Wrap Up Place Holder: Trump’s Expanding Legal Entanglements
As befits his pre-eminent status as the King of Crisis, Trump.45 now has three Alpha Dog main attorneys. So he can look forward to running up hourly bills of $5,000 per hour, if his own lawyers decide to consult, coordinate, or talk to one another. God knows what it will cost if they have to discuss issues with Team Mueller.
Naturally enough, Trump.45 himself is well insulted financially to afford the full tab since his latest financial filing revealed he has about $57 million cash on hand in various bank accounts. Plenty to last him for some time. And, clever boy that he is, it won’t be all that long before there is a special Defend America’s Honor: Donald J. Trump Defense Fund to pick up the tab from public contributions by his social media army. Perhaps there will be a new hat and logo combination to celebrate the event.
There are perhaps one or two others in the coterie who might benefit from large scale Legal Defense Funds, like Mike Pence, or possibly Jeff Sessions. The rest are probably out of luck on that score. Good thing Jared has his own piggy bank of asset riches he can call on to pay his bills.
In scanning the timeline chronology, a keen observer might notice a possible patter developing. The pace of lawyering up seems to have accelerated in the last few weeks. Leisurely in March, calm in April, picking up in May, and hotter yet in June. It feels like a Fibonacci Number Sequence of Legal Hiring.
By my count, we are currently at eight lawyered up souls (due to Russia Investigation and related concerns about Trump and his 2016 Campaign). Eight is a proper Fibonacci number; the sixth in the classic mathematical sequence. Next comes 13 and then 21. I would say it is a safe bet from a probability perspective, we will make the 13 threshold, and pretty likely the 21 threshold in the Fibonacci Series before Special Counsel Mueller is finished.
Whether we eventually make it to 34 Lawyered Up Cats really depends on what actions Trump.45 engages in during the next few months, so the likelihood is inherently unpredictable.
I apologize to any of the affected cohort who have temporarily been left out of this listing, if they have already privately lawyered up for Russian matters. Otherwise, in the clear so far appear to be Trump.45 intimates Steve Bannon, Steve Miller, Jason Miller, Sean Spicer, Don McGahn, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Hope Hicks, Dan Scavino, Katrina Pierson, Kellyanne Conway, K.T. McFarland, and Reince Priebus. May your luck hold a bit longer.
Probably not so lucky are Carter Page, Roger Stone, and Boris Epshteyn. Their turn is likely coming. The Trump boys Eric and Donald Jr. might be in the scope at some point as well.
As for Trump.45’s claims he is the innocent object of the World’s Greatest Witch Hunt, mere mortals are not buying it, and have chosen to spend their own real money to deflect attention coming their way. And in the end, since the Fibonacci Series is a mathematical correlate of the Golden Mean and represents Nature’s most powerful and beautiful symmetries of pattern and form, Trump.45’s puny whining will not hold sway.
Just my guess. Stay tuned.
Here is a wonderful short TED Talk video from YouTube by Arthur Benjamin, Mathematician on Fibonacci Numbers. Watch it here.
And a second Youtube 30-minute long documentary about Leonardo of Pisa (1170-1240), Italian mathematician who gave us the Fibonacci number series. Watch it here.
He invented it to describe the results of an idealized breeding experiment with pairs of rabbits. Kind of like the Trumpian multiplier effect on needing a lawyer if you work closely with him.
And just by the way, Leonardo of Pisa introduced the Western Romanized world to the Arabic systems of numbers in his book Liber Abaci (1202), which we all use today.
Liber Abaci (1202, also spelled as Liber Abbaci) is a historic book on arithmetic by Leonardo of Pisa, known later by his nickname Fibonacci.
Liber Abaci was among the first Western books to describe Hindu–Arabic numbers traditionally described as “Arabic Numerals”. By addressing the applications of both commercial tradesmen and mathematicians, it contributed to convincing the public of the superiority of the Hindu–Arabic numeral system.
The title of Liber Abaci means “The Book of Calculation”. Although it has also been translated as “The Book of the Abacus”, Sigler (2002) writes that this is an error: the intent of the book is to describe methods of doing calculations without aid of an abacus, and as Ore (1948) confirms, for centuries after its publication the algorismists (followers of the style of calculation demonstrated in Liber Abaci) remained in conflict with the abacists (traditionalists who continued to use the abacus in conjunction with Roman numerals).
The second version of Liber Abaci was dedicated to Michael Scot in 1227 CE. No versions of the original 1202 CE book have been found.
Another thing Trump.45 would be utterly astonished to learn about, and would instantly doubt the truth of in his unerring gut, inasmuch as this fact reflects an advanced civilization technique derived from Muslim minds without European help, and which is now critical to everyday life in the entire Western World. They had it before we did. They had it before our ancestors in Europe did. They were the best and brightest math wise. Live with it, while you advocate your Religious Travel Ban.
Without the Arabic number system, Trump.45 couldn’t even count to 1 million in standard Roman Numeral notation in a practical way, much less to a billion or more. His fortune would be faceless, undetermined, and uncountable. Now that would be a shame.