A dark joke has begun circulating among lawyers following the many legal travails of former President Donald Trump: MAGA actually stands for “making attorneys get attorneys.”
Over six years and nine major investigations by Congress, the Justice Department and local prosecutors, as Trump has managed to avoid removal from the presidency and indictment, it has become clear that serving as one of his lawyers is a remarkably risky job — and one that can involve considerable legal exposure. Time after time, his attorneys have been asked to testify as witnesses to potential crimes — or come under scrutiny as possible criminal conspirators themselves.
While the consequences his lawyers faced were extraordinary when Trump was in the White House, the dangers have only intensified since he left office and have become increasing acute in recent weeks, as the former president has come under scrutiny in two different Justice Department investigations and has been forced yet again to find lawyers willing to represent him.
Last week, a Justice Department filing revealed that Trump’s lawyers had misled federal investigators about whether he had handed over to the Justice Department all the classified documents he took from the White House when he left office. That raised questions about whether the lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb, could be prosecuted themselves and might ultimately be forced to become witnesses against their client. (Bobb recently retained a lawyer, according to a person familiar with the situation.)
The revelation capped a summer in which a team of lawyers that had been advising Trump as he tried to overturn the 2020 election faced a range of repercussions across the country from federal investigators, local prosecutors, state bar associations and government accountability groups.
One of Trump’s highest-profile lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, was named as a target in a state