As now twice-indicted former President Donald Trump confronts yet another legal battle, he is shaking up his legal team for the umpteenth time.
Trump announced on Truth Social Friday that he is calling up Todd Blanche “and a firm to be named later” to represent him as he faces charges for mishandling and refusing to return classified government information after leaving the White House.
With the call-up, the twice-impeached and liable-for-sexual-abuse former president is saying bye-bye to lawyers Jim Trusty and John Rowley. The departure was unexpected, as Trusty had been on CNN just hours earlier going to bat to defend Trump.
Blanche is an elite white-collar criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor. Previously, he has represented former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Igor Fruman, a former Rudy Giuliani associate who allegedly helped scour Ukraine for damaging information on Trump’s rivals. Fruman was sentenced to a one-year prison term for a campaign finance violation.
Manafort was able to evade mortgage fraud and other charges with the help of Blanche—charges Blanche had called “politically motivated,” just as Trump’s team calls the ones he faces now.
For their part, Trusty and Rowley claim to be resigning because it is “a logical moment” to step aside since the case has been filed in Miami. It is unclear why exactly it’s a “logical moment” for someone’s two defense lawyers to “resign” just because it’s in Miami (unless they personally felt victimized by Ron DeSantis’s war on civil rights or something).
Perhaps Trump fired them to shake up his legal defenses, given how poor his track record in the courts has been up to this point. But Trump recruited Blanche before his Manhattan arraignment too, and well, we saw how that went. Perhaps the lawyers did leave of their own volition, but to jump from a sinking ship. Either way, the shake-up doesn’t necessarily bode strongly for the serial criminal.