Theodore B. Olson, one of Washington’s most seasoned attorneys, is expected to decline an offer to join President Donald Trump’s legal team.
The development reflects Trump’s continued struggle to attract elite practitioners to his defense team.
Trump’s lawyers huddled with Olson in hopes of retaining him to for the president’s defense, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Though Olson was said to be considering the offer, a longtime colleague and confidant, Ted Boutrous, tweeted Tuesday afternoon that they would not take Trump on as a client.
Boutrous and Olson are partners in the Washington office of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, one of the capital’s finest firms.
— Ted Boutrous (@BoutrousTed) March 20, 2018
Olson was an assistant attorney general in the Reagan Justice Department and solicitor general under former President George W. Bush. In private practice he represented Tom Brady during the Deflategate litigation, and argued a number of high-profile cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Bush v. Gore; Citizens United v. FEC; and Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case that overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Trump’s idiosyncratic, unpredictable behavior has been a source of continued frustration for his attorneys. The New York Times reported Monday that one of his lawyers, John Dowd, seriously considered resigning since Trump seldom heeds advice. The president also openly speculated about firing Ty Cobb, another of his attorneys, before decided against it.
The volatile circumstances have repelled top legal talent, unwilling to leave stable and lucrative posts at white shoe law firms for a powerful client who keeps his own counsel.
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