Perhaps inevitably, Donald Trump Jr. has retained a lawyer to represent him in the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — and any involvement in those efforts from allies of President Trump.
I say “perhaps inevitably” less because the younger Trump’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer last year earned him no small amount of media attention over the weekend than because it seems as though nearly anyone who has ever met the president has hired a lawyer to handle the Russia matter.
That’s an exaggeration, of course, but, by our count, Trump Jr. is the ninth person affiliated with the president to hire a lawyer to run interference with the Russia probes.
Inside the administration
President Trump hired Marc Kasowitz in late May. Kasowitz has represented Trump in a number of prior legal actions, including the allegations of fraud that dogged Trump’s real estate seminar program, Trump University.
Adviser (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner hired Abbe Lowell in late June. Lowell served as chief counsel to House Democrats during the impeachment of Bill Clinton and defended Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on corruption charges.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions hired Charles Cooper in June. Cooper served as assistant attorney general under Ronald Reagan and was identified as a possible Trump nominee to serve as solicitor general.
Vice President Pence hired Richard Cullen in mid-June. Cullen is a former U.S. attorney who worked on the legal team of George W. Bush during the 2000 recount.
Outside the administration
Trump Jr. hired Alan Futerfas. Futerfas is a criminal defense attorney in New York.
Michael Cohen — Trump’s personal lawyer — hired Stephen Ryan in mid-June. Ryan is a former assistant U.S. attorney with experience prosecuting criminal cases.
Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort retained Reginald Brown. Brown formerly served in the White House Counsel’s Office and defends those targeted by government investigations.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn retained Robert Kelner. Kelner is a prominent defense lawyer who focuses on campaign finance and political activity.
Former campaign communications adviser Michael Caputo hired Dennis Vacco in mid-June. Vacco is a former attorney general for the state of New York.
That these various people have retained attorneys does not, of course, imply guilt. It does, however, demonstrate how the investigations into the Trump campaign and administration have expanded, looping in more and more people who might have information worth sharing.
Nor should you be surprised if more names are added to this list before the investigations end.