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Trumpworld’s Star Lawyers Exit as Storm Clouds Gather

1 20 425

Civil and criminal investigations in New York and Georgia. Defamation suits from two women. A civil suit over misuse of inauguration funds. A number of complaints related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. And a new lawsuit related to the disclosure of the former president’s taxes.

Donald Trump is facing even more legal challenges than normal—which is saying something for a man so litigious and familiar with legal duress. But even though he is someone who tends to keep the same people around him for longer than he should, a number of the ex-president’s longtime, high-profile lawyers have recently parted ways with Trumpworld.

When Trump sued The New York Times and his niece Mary earlier this week, the attorney who filed the lawsuit was a relatively unknown lawyer. Alina Habba, based in the same town as the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, comes with a résumé far less ostentatious than the legal CVs that the twice-impeached former president has come to expect. But Trump appears to be leaning on Habba now to take on his niece and the Times reporters who disclosed some of Trump’s previous tax filings.

At the same time, Habba’s ascension in Trump’s legal hierarchy comes alongside the conspicuous fall of another: the Gawker-killing celebrity lawyer Charles Harder, whom the ex-president and members of his family have relied upon for years to go after journalists, authors, and major book publishers Trump felt had crossed the line.

In previous years, a case against New York Times reporters and a family member who Trump alleged was the source for the journalists would have easily fallen to Harder, a lawyer the 45th U.S. president once lauded as a hard-charging attack dog of the rich and the powerful.

But according to two people with knowledge of the matter, Trump said he wanted to fire Harder earlier this year, having grown frustrated with what he viewed as his famous lawyer’s insufficient number of recent “wins,” and the good amount of money Trump had sent Harder’s way.

Not long after Trump began privately demanding Harder’s exile this summer, court documents began noting his replacement as the former president’s counsel of record.

Trump’s spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on this story. When reached for comment by The Daily Beast, Harder noted a number of his legal victories on behalf of Trump to deny any suggestion the ex-president may have wanted to fire him. “I’m not allowed to discuss attorney-client matters, so I cannot respond except to ask who is saying this because they are probably making it up,” he wrote.

The Gawker-slaying attorney, however, isn’t the only big-name or expensive lawyer who has........

© The Daily Beast

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