With President Donald Trump and the White House continuing to stonewall when it comes to complying with requests and subpoenas from multiple congressional committees, it appears that we could be in for a long wait before we get any evidence or testimony that will shed more light on Trump’s crimes.
But now House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has found what can best be called an end run around Trump and his attorneys by making sure Trump’s attorneys are identified as co-conspirators and witnesses to federal crimes.
The New York Times broke a huge story Tuesday reporting that the House Intelligence Committee is zeroing in on the Trump attorneys when it comes to the crime of obstruction of justice:
“In recent weeks, the committee sent lengthy document requests to four lawyers — Jay Sekulow, who represents the president; Alan S. Futerfas, who represents Donald Trump Jr.; Alan Garten, the top lawyer at the Trump Organization; and Abbe D. Lowell, who represents Ivanka Trump. The lawyers all took part in a joint defense agreement by the president’s allies to coordinate responses to inquiries by Congress and the Justice Department.
“’Among other things, it appears that your clients may have reviewed, shaped and edited the false statement that (Michael) Cohen submitted to the committee, including causing the omission of material facts,’ the Intelligence Committee’s chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, wrote to lawyers representing the four men in a May 3 letter obtained by The New York Times.”
Here’s the quandary that places the president’s legal counsel in: If they refuse to cooperate or even testify, they risk being charged with contempt and disbarred. Recalcitrance on their behalf would also make them part of another crime: Misprison of a felony, which means knowing a crime is being committed but not making officials aware of it even though you’re a member of the legal profession. That can also get you disbarred. And it carries a penalty of five years in prison.
Schiff has boxed the Trump attorneys into one hell of a predicament. If they provide the information requested, Trump will dump them from the team. If they don’t, they might never be able to practice law again.
This is a brilliant strategy by Congressman Schiff. Now all that remains to be seen is which option the Trump legal team takes. Choose the wrong one, and kiss your career goodbye.