The propriety and wisdom

Trump’s lawyers are starting to sweat.

Jones Day is the most prominent firm representing President Trump and the Republican Party as they prepare to wage a legal war challenging the results of the election. The work is intensifying concerns inside the firm about the propriety and wisdom of working for Mr. Trump, according to lawyers at the firm.

Doing business with Mr. Trump — with his history of inflammatory rhetoric, meritless lawsuits and refusal to pay what he owes — has long induced heartburn among lawyers, contractors, suppliers and lenders. But the concerns are taking on new urgency as the president seeks to raise doubts about the election results.

Aka “do we really want to be the lawyers who enable this crook to stage a successful coup?”

Some senior lawyers at Jones Day, one of the country’s largest law firms, are worried that it is advancing arguments that lack evidence and may be helping Mr. Trump and his allies undermine the integrity of American elections, according to interviews with nine partners and associates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their jobs.

There’s another big firm in Ohio that’s doing the same thing and having the same issues.

Already, the two firms have filed at least four lawsuits challenging aspects of the election in Pennsylvania. The cases are pending.

The latest salvo came on Monday evening, when the Trump campaign filed a suit in federal court in Pennsylvania against the Pennsylvania secretary of state and a number of county election boards. The suit — filed by lawyers at Porter Wright — alleged that there were “irregularities” in voting across the state.

The allegations are based on nothing much, and the law firms know it; the target is public opinion. Trump is doing everything he can to poison the well.

A lawyer in Jones Day’s Washington office felt that the firm risked hurting itself by taking on work that undermined the rule of law. “To me, it seems extremely shortsighted,” the lawyer said.

Of course, lawyers and law firms work for people who defy the rule of law all the time. In an adversarial legal system everyone is entitled to a defense. But…when it’s the capo di tutti capi, who is trying to kneecap the rule of law itself, in his own self-interest…you can see the difficulty.

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