As Russia probe heats up, growing cast of White House lawyers represent rival interests – World

As the Russia investigations heat up, a growing cast of lawyers is signing up to defend U.S. President Donald Trump and his associates. But the interests of those lawyers — and their clients — don’t always align, adding a new layer of drama and suspicion in a White House already rife with internal rivalries.

Trump himself has both an outside legal team and a new in-house special counsel, Ty Cobb, for Russia-related matters. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, has a pair of high-powered attorneys working for him. The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., recently hired his own lawyer. And former campaign aides who expect to be caught up in the expanding probes are also shopping for representation — and dealing with sticker-shock over the price tags.

The result is a crowded group of high-priced attorneys bent on defending their own clients, even if it means elbowing those clients’ colleagues.

Attorney Ty Cobb is seen representing a client in front of the House committee of government reform in December 1999. Cobb is Trump’s new in-house special counsel on Russia matters. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

“Any one of those individuals can anticipate that they will be in a position to provide information adverse to any of the other individuals,” said Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor and legal ethics expert. “They have to have their own lawyer.”

The diverging interests began to emerge more clearly during last week’s fallout over a June 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney that both the president’s son and his son-in-law attended during the heat of the presidential campaign. Legal teams for the president, Trump Jr. and Kushner all discussed the matter before the meeting was first reported by the New York Times.

But the lawyers couldn’t agree on a single, public explanation for the meeting and ultimately settled on a statement that had to be repeatedly amended as new information dripped out. The job…

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