“For his lawyers, it must be like watching your toddler play in traffic,” one former federal prosecutor said of Trump. “You’ve got a client completely out of control.”
President Donald Trump’s penchant for freewheeling chatter on issues being litigated in court landed him in hot water again Thursday, potentially upending his attorneys’ strategy in ongoing court battles involving his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
In a matter of about 90 seconds in a “Fox and Friends” interview, Trump appeared to undercut Cohen’s claim that he acted on his own in paying $130,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election and managed to weaken his own attorneys’ arguments in an ongoing fight over records the FBI seized from Cohen’s home, office and hotel room.
“It’s just a complete nightmare for his lawyers,” said Ken White, a former federal corruption prosecutor based in Los Angeles. “The problem isn’t just what he specifically admits in these statements. It’s constantly generating inconsistent statements about issues that are going to be litigated, and that’s what he has been doing.”
“For his lawyers, it must be like watching your toddler play in traffic,” White said. “You’ve got a client completely out of control.”
The phenomenon is hardly new. Trump’s tweets about his travel ban policy have been repeatedly cited in court to undermine the Justice Department’s legal defense of those orders and were even raised at Supreme Court arguments this week on the subject. Now, he seems to be throwing more personal litigation into confusion.