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Trump’s Got a New Lawyer. And He’s in a Band Named After Himself.


Looks like there’s been a mid-season ringer added to the cast of The Trump Team. After some seriously questionable statements (not to mention a few bar complaints) made by Trump’s longtime counsel Marc Kasowitz, Trump has now turned to tax-lawyer-turned-mouthpiece-for-the-Christian-right Jay Sekulow. Prior to being cast as Trump’s latest legal eagle, Sekulow was a star on the Supreme Court scene; he’s argued 11 cases before the high court on issues including abortion, religious freedom, and campaign finance – always taking the right-wing party line.

In 1992, Sekulow teamed up with televangelist Pat Robertson, and became chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice – an advocacy group for which Sekulow has taken on a number of Christian conservative cases doing the usual—opposing LGBT rights and reproductive freedom and fighting for “traditional values.” He’s also been a major opponent of the proposal to build a “Ground Zero Mosque” on the World Trade Center site.

Sekulow has become something of a conservative media darling, which certainly fits with Trump’s policy of filling government positions as if he’s casting the latest season of a reality show. A regular at Fox News, Sekulow has authored a number of books, including Undemocratic: How Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats Are Stealing Your Liberty and Freedom, and Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia, and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World

Oh, and there’s apparently a musical version of “The Sekulow Band” performing his manifesto, blues style:

No word yet on whether Sekulow will be choreographing an interpretive dance based on James Comey’s Senate testimony.

This past weekend, Sekulow made the TV rounds, apparently to confuse the heck out of anyone watching over the issue of Trump’s weird tweet from a few days ago:

In a Fox News interview that has been justifiably called a “stumble” that was “bizarre,” Sekulow channeled his inner Sean Spicer and did his best to double-talk his way through the segment.

By most accounts, Jay Sekulow is an accomplished and respected attorney, even if he sometimes advocates detestable points of view. But there is a serious question of why a successful Constitutional lawyer would ever jump on Trump’s legal team. According to Sekulow himself:

“If the president of the United States asks you for legal advice, and you’re a lawyer, and you’re serving your country and the Constitution, you do it.”

But let’s be clear: Trump needed a Constitutional lawyer back before he ran for president — when there was still time for him to learn the ABCs of American government. Now, Trump needs a criminal lawyer – one who specializes in obstruction of justice, and one who is licensed to practice in D.C. Sekulow is not that person. Sekulow’s best qualification for his new role seems to be simply that he likes President Trump, and that he’ll go on camera to say so. Narrow as that pool seems to be getting these days, choosing Sekulow still doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Twitter may have said it best:

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos