Sources told Jeff Zeleny for CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper that Trump’s circle is looking for outside legal help to deal with the special counsel.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 18, 2017
They are looking for an outside set of legal advisers “to, in the words of one administration official, ‘add more legal firepower to the representation of the President in this matter,'” Zeleny said.
Zeleny explained that this is a common practice for presidents who have dealt with special counsels.
The President’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is in D.C. according to CNN’s sources and he is to present the President with a plan to hire a group of lawyers before Trump leaves on his foreign trip Friday.
While lawyering up never looks good in terms of optics to the public, Trump needs a lawyer who represents him, not the White House.
Additionally, as Reuters pointed out when word of the special counsel was announced Wednesday, Trump’s communication with the White House lawyer might not be shielded by attorney client privilege. Trump can thank the Republican investigation into President Bill Clinton for this precedent.
Trump’s people reportedly urged him to get his own lawyers even sooner than the special counsel appointment, as soon as they heard that former FBI Director James Comey had kept detailed notes on his meetings with Trump, according to Maggie Haberman in the New York Times.
Trump is used to being in control in his private world. He is now not able to control people or events with one call to his lawyer, because he’s dealing with people like Comey, who saw him coming and do this for a living.