“The concerns were, ‘The guy won’t pay and he won’t listen,’” said one lawyer close to the White House who is familiar with some of the discussions between the firms and the administration, as well as deliberations within the firms themselves.
Other factors, the lawyer said, were that it would “kill recruitment” for the firms to be publicly associated with representing the polarizing president and jeopardize the firms’ relationships with other clients.
Another lawyer briefed on some of the discussions agreed that the firms were worried about the reputational risk of representing the president. One issue that arose, this lawyer said, was “Do I want to be associated with this president and his policies?” In addition, the lawyer said, there were concerns that if they took on the case, “Who’s in charge?” and “Would he listen?”
None of the lawyers who turned down the White House overtures responded to requests for comment by Yahoo News.