Aug 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump taps former Florida solicitor general as lead lawyer in DOJ probe

Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10, 2022
Former President Trump leaves Trump Tower on Aug. 10. Photo: James Devaney/GC Images

Former President Trump has hired Florida's former solicitor general, Chris Kise, to represent him in the criminal case that resulted in the search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago residence, a source familiar confirmed.

Why it matters: The news comes as questions lingered over who would represent Trump in the Southern District of Florida after a number of criminal defense attorneys said they wouldn't take the job, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Kise, who served on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R) transition team, began working with Trump shortly after the FBI searched his Florida home earlier this month, NBC News first reported.

  • Kise is known as a "skilled political knife fighter," per NBC News, and he's won numerous cases before both the U.S. Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court.
  • Kise is leaving his firm, Foley & Lardner, to represent the former president, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: A number of defense lawyers turned down requests to represent the former president, with some citing the time-consuming nature of the job and others fearing the potential political blowback, per NBC News.

  • Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesman, defended the quality of the former president’s legal team earlier this month.
  • "President Trump is represented by some of the strongest attorneys in the country, and any suggestion otherwise is only driven by envy," Budowich said, per the Post.

What to watch: Kise is expected to appear in West Palm Beach federal court on Thursday for the first time as Trump’s attorney, NBC News reports.

Go deeper... Here's what we know and don't know about the Mar-a-Lago inquiry

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