Defense attorneys weigh in on pros and cons to representing former President Donald Trump

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has seen some shake-ups since his indictment on federal charges related to his handling of classified documents.

Trump’s federal case stands to go down in history as one of the most high-profile criminal cases of all time.


It’s why Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson said he would expect criminal defense attorneys to be chomping at the bit for the opportunity to represent the former President.

“You get national recognition, right? And for many attorneys who handle extremely large and important cases, that’s critical to their survival. They want to be noted as the best,” said Carson.

But two of Trump’s attorneys jumped ship since the federal indictment was made public and the former President is reportedly struggling to find new representation here in the Sunshine State.

“Donald Trump would be a challenge,” said Mitchell Stone, a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney and past President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Stone suggested Trump’s personality is likely a contributing factor leading some attorneys to pass on the case.

“If he has his own agenda using social media, making public statements, and rallying the troops if you will and it goes against the grain of what the defense wants to do, then you’re not going to have that kind of unity that you need from the defense,” said Stone.

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Stone also added details of the indictment, including the allegation Trump deceived his own lawyers by ordering boxes containing classified documents be moved without their knowledge, which could also create some hesitation for those considering representing him.

“What you don’t want to do is get into a situation where you’re trusting, believing something and present that and then it turns out to be entirely false,” said Stone.

Stone noted preconceived opinions about the former President may also make it difficult for some attorneys to agree to take the case.

As far as a potential public backlash, Stone said that’s a risk defense attorneys take in virtually every case, but in this case, that risk is essentially on steroids.

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