2. Mueller’s team of killers vs. Trump’s amateurs?
On Thursday a Republican lawyer who supports the president and has experience in government emailed an article he had read about the team of prosecutors Mueller is assembling. “This ain’t good,” he headlined the email, which went on to discuss the impressive talents of Mueller hires Michael Dreeben, Andrew Weissmann, James Quarles, Jeannie Rhee, and Aaron Zebley.
Contrast that, he said in a later conversation, to the Trump team, led by Trump personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz and including partner Michael Bowe and Washington legal veteran Jay Sekulow. “I look at this team and think this is a joke!” the lawyer said. “What are they thinking? Jay Sekulow is going to talk ’em to death?”
The reaction is not unusual. As far as experience in criminal prosecutions is concerned — the kind of experience that specifically relates to the issues in the Trump-Russia case — the Mueller team has a huge advantage over the Trump team. (On the other hand, it’s also true that Sekulow has argued before the Supreme Court a dozen times and played a role in several major cases, plus the Kasowitz law firm has a lot of lawyers to call on.) Trump has gotten plenty of advice to hire a big-name Washington scandal attorney, but he has not done so, either because they wouldn’t work for him or they wouldn’t work for him under the conditions he set. In any event, the coming legal fight could be asymmetrical warfare.