Trump's potential lawyer in Russia probe has Russian ties of his own

A prominent New York Lawyer expected to represent President Donald Trump in the widening Russia investigations has professional connections of his own with Moscow.
By Clint Huston | May 26, 2017
A prominent New York Lawyer expected to represent President Donald Trump in the widening Russia investigations has professional connections of his own with Moscow.

The connections could create yet another public relations conundrum for the White House.

Marc Kasowitz, who has been Mr. Trump's go-to-lawyer for years on both personal and business matters, is defending a Russian bank, OJSC Sberbank, in an ongoing case in the United States.

Kasowitz also represents a company controlled by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to the Kremlin.

According to CNN, although Kasowitz's clients with Russian ties may not pose any legal interests of conflict as he prepares to help Trump deal with an investigation that the president has called a "witch hunt", the optics could make for a messy situation.

A lawyer with Russian-linked clients representing a president, whose campaign is being probed for alleged collusion with Moscow, could make the situation even messier.

Larry Noble, general counsel for the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, believes that Kaowitz's list of clients could potentially raise questions for the White House.

"Could be there be some line of communication between these clients and the White House? Is there any situation where the interests of one conflicts with the other? These are the questions that come up," Noble said in an interview.

Josh Galper, a crisis management attorney, said if Kasowitz is hired as expected, his Russian-tied clients could become another unnecessary distraction for the White House.

"The first rule of crisis management is not to create another crisis for yourself through the people that are representing you," Gaiper, who is also the co-founder of the firm Trident DMG, said.

Trump's expected decision to hire Kasowitz comes the week after the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to lead the federal investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Congressional committees are also probing Russia's role in the election.

 

 

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