Whoever said “He who represents himself has a fool for a client” obviously never met Donald Trump’s legal team, which could scarcely be more inept than Trump himself. After Trump spent the week destroying his executive privilege 140 characters at a time, a member of his crack legal team went on TV and Perry Masoned himself in front of the entire country.
Skip to the end if you’re impatient, but trust me, this is better if you eat it in three bites. On this week’s Fox News Sunday, Trump legal team member Jay Sekulow told host Chris Wallace that Donald Trump “is now under investigation,” and he told him twice (emphasis added):
The president takes action based on numerous events, including recommendations from his attorney general and the deputy attorney general’s office. He takes the action that they also, by the way, recommended. And now he’s being investigated by the Department of Justice because the special counsel under the special counsel relations reports still to the Department of Justice. Not an independent counsel. So he’s being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination.
Wallace then points out to Sekulow that he has just said Trump is under investigation — twice — and Sekulow explains that he did no such thing, and shame on Chris Wallace for putting words in his mouth (emphasis added):
WALLACE: Well, I … what … what … what’s the question (INAUDIBLE). I mean you … you stated … you stated some facts. First of all, you’ve now said that he is getting investigated after saying that you didn’t.
WALLACE: You … you just, sir, that he’s being …
SEKULOW: No, he’s not being investigated!
WALLACE: You just said that he’s being investigated.
SEKULOW: No, Chris, I said that the … any … let me be crystal clear so you completely understand. We have not received nor are we aware of any investigation of the president of the United States, period.
WALLACE: Sir, you just said two times that he’s being investigated.
SEKULOW: No. The context of the tweet, I just gave you the legal theory, Chris, of how the Constitution works. If, in fact, it was correct that the president was being investigated, he would be investigated for taking action that an agency told him to take. So that is protected under the Constitution as his article one power. That’s all I said. So I appreciate you trying to rephrase it, but I’m just being really direct with you, Chris. This is … let me be …
WALLACE: No, I … I … sir, I didn’t rephrase it. The tape will speak … Jay, the tape will speak for itself. You said he is being investigated. And it’s not that big …
SEKULOW: Chris, he is … just … no, Chris … that’s (INAUDIBLE) unfair, Chris.
WALLACE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Jay, and it’s not … Jay, it’s not just being investigated for firing Comey. There’s also the question of what he said to Comey when Comey was still the FBI director. So there’s more than just the fact that he fired Comey.
SEKULOW: He … Chris, let me be clear, you asked me a question about what the president’s tweet was regarding the deputy attorney general of the United States. That’s what you asked me. And I responded to what that legal theory would be. So I do not appreciate you putting words in my mouth when I’ve been crystal clear that the president is not and has not been under investigation. I don’t think I can be any clearer than that.
Finally, there’s the question that Wallace asked him, which is remarkably bereft of any mention of Trump’s tweet:
WALLACE: I want to ask you a direct question. Does the president think that Rod Rosenstein has done anything wrong?
The fact is, of course, that you’d have to be an even bigger fool than Sekulow or his client not to know that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for obstruction, but watching Trump’s lawyer show off his sub-Bob Loblaw chops is entertaining and encouraging. If there’s anything for Trump to go down for, a slick legal team ain’t gonna save him.