Tuesday, ProPublica published a really nasty article on Donald Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz. Do we want to talk about Mr. Kasowitz's 2014 stint in rehab, his alleged torrid affair with a cocktail waitress, and reported alcohol abuse, which associates say is continuing recently? WE DO NOT. (For real, we do not take joy in this; it is a kinder and gentler Wonkette than in years past. SHUT UP, yes it is!) We only bring this up because this is exactly the kind of behavior that causes the government to deny you a security clearance. If everyone around you is whispering loudly that you're cheating on your wife with a 25-year-old hostess from the Palm, and you deny it to the press, you're vulnerable to blackmail. And if your spokesman has to defend your ability to drink like a gentleman, you've already lost the argument.

Kasowitz's people seem to think this is NBD, whatever. Have they thought about how they're going to conduct discovery without clearance to examine sensitive documents related to the Russia investigation?

Kasowitz’s spokesman said he doesn’t need a clearance. “No one has suggested he requires a security clearance, there has been no need for a security clearance, and we do not anticipate a need for a security clearance,” the spokesman said. “If and when a security clearance is needed, Mr. Kasowitz will apply for one with the other members of the legal team.”

So, that's a no.

And if they were in New York, scrapping their way through another real estate deal or mob defense, they'd be right. BUT THIS ISN'T NEW YORK!

Several lawyers who have represented presidents and senior government officials said they could not imagine handling a case so suffused with sensitive material without a clearance.

“No question in my mind — in order to represent President Trump in this matter you would have to get a very high level of clearance because of the allegations involving Russia,” said Robert Bennett, who served as President Bill Clinton’s personal lawyer. Like many Washington lawyers, Bennett has held security clearances throughout his career.

A month ago, Kasowitz made his big DC debut by threatening to sue James Comey and bragging that he'd convinced Trump to inappropriately fire Preet Bharara. Your Wonkette noted that the Kool Aid Man strategy might not play on this end of the Acela corridor. And now Kasowitz is making the preposterous assertion that he and his team will stop the investigation and get security clearances if and when they need to. Under the best of circumstances, a clearance check takes weeks! And these are not the best of circumstances, at least not for Mr. Kasowitz. Did they think it was like getting your drivers license renewed? WTF!

This week Don, Jr. also lawyered up for some reason. His attorney, Alan Futerfas, seems like a competent guy with no obvious skeletons that would impede a security clearance. But he runs a four-lawyer shop in New York, representing mobsters and white collar criminals. He may not be a brawler like Kasowitz, but he's no DC insider either. And he's going up against Robert Mueller, who has unlimited investigative authority, bottomless funds, and the best prosecutors in the country. As the NRA might say, that's like bringing a knife to a gunfight!

And let's not forget, Futerfas's client is an egomaniac who thinks he's the smartest guy in every room. He's like a walking proof of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. We are 100% certain that Mr. Futerfas advised his client to SHUT THE FUCK UP. Instead, DJ went on Hannity and announced via Twitter that he'd be delighted to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee. No need for a subpoena!

Your own 5$F had some thoughts on this.

But Futerfas and Kasowitz aren't the problem. If you're a New York hedge fund manager in the middle of a nasty divorce or a member of the Gambino family, there's no one better than these guys. The problem is their clients.

There's a reason that white shoe law firms in DC can charge $1,500/hour for their time, and it's not because they're scrappy. They have the experience, connections and gravitas to navigate the local ecosystem. The Donalds may love a "pit bull," but they can't bully the federal government like a plumbing contractor they stiffed on a bill. That shit is not gonna fly here!

On top of which, the Trumps have made very clear that they'll be running their own legal defense, thankyouverymuch. In their world, lawyers are tools, not experts. And no tool is going to rein them in! Trump's reputation for lying to his attorneys and welching on the bill doesn't help either. So they're stuck with the kind of attorney who will let them run the show and not you're fired them for going on television and blowing up the case. Which is to say, a guy who flies by the seat of his pants and probably can't pass a security clearance. Unlike Jared, the quiet one, whose ego was just small enough to allow him to hire appropriate counsel.

As a lawyer, your 5$F is appalled. As a citizen, however, she encourages them to stick to their guns. Keep tweeting, Poppy! There's no one smarter than you and Don, Jr! Beat those smarmy DC lawyers at their own game! You can do it!

[ProPublica / Washington Monthly]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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