I’ve filed (faxed, with original FedExed for delivery tomorrow) another Trump-related legal-ethics complaint. This one is against Marc Kasowitz, the private lawyer who is leading Trump’s defense. The complaint is available here. (Regarding the prior complaint, my earlier post.)
The complaint is based on the report in the New York Times about Kasowitz’s communications with White House staff members:
His visits to the White House have raised questions about the blurry line between public and private interests for a president facing legal issues. In recent days, Mr. Kasowitz has advised White House aides to discuss the inquiry into Russia’s interference in last year’s election as little as possible, two people involved said. He told aides gathered in one meeting who had asked whether it was time to hire private lawyers that it was not yet necessary, according to another person with direct knowledge.
The complaint asserts that these communications violated New York’s Rule of Professional Conduct 4.3, which provides that lawyers “shall not give legal advice to an unrepresented person other than the advice to secure counsel if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client.” The complaint also asserts that Kasowitz violated a separate rule by (according to the Times report) “bypass[ing] the White House Counsel’s Office in having these discussions”.
For additional commentary on Kasowitz’s apparent ethical breach:
Legal Ethics Questions for Trump’s Personal Lawyer (Andrew Kent at Lawfare).
Is Marc Kasowitz Drunk On His Own Power? (Joe Patrice at Above the Law).
Kasowitz Is Coming Out The Gate With Attorney Ethics Conflict Problems, But How About This? (woodguru at Daily Kos).