Matt Gaetz’s legal lineup tells us about his problems


Photo Illustrations / Photo Getty Images by The Daily Beast

Photo Illustrations / Photo Getty Images by The Daily Beast

Federal sex crimes Research Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) Explosive headlines It happened when the news was first reported in late March, and the incident shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, legal experts may have chalked the Daily Beast on a number of factors, including the wide range of allegations that investigators may investigate, rather than the perceived calmness being out of the norm. Said. Gates and his allies prefer to interpret the lack of suspicion as a sign of innocence, but the delay simply suggests that the suspicions that may come down from Pike are very serious and complex. There is a possibility.

And if Gates himself was looking for something to show how serious he was about the prospect of prosecution, it would be nothing more than a strong team of lawyers brought by a puzzled Florida man to defend him.

The team features a trio of powerful litigants from New York City, well outside the boundaries of central Florida, where the Justice Department’s investigations are being processed.

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Gates is personally represented by Mark Mukashi, who defended the Trump Organization in several high-profile conflicts, and Isabel Kirschner, a partner at Clayman & Rosenberg LLP. Kirschner was Manhattan’s premier criminal defense counsel, representing former New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after several women accused him of physical assault.

Separately, a friend of Matt Gaetz, a Gates campaign, also turned north when he hired a New York-based lawyer, Mark Fellnic, in June.Fernich Client list Includes child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Gusman, and convicted sex trafficker Keith Raniere, who led the NXIVM cult. Fernich is familiar with sex crime cases but has no experience in election funding law.

The team gathered seems to reflect the self-proclaimed Florida Man’s politics, personality, and public relations strategy.

On the political front, former federal prosecutor Michael B. Mukasey himself has earned a reputation as a reliable lawyer for prominent conservatives and MAGAworld affiliates. He has represented members of the Trump organization and the Trump family in many cases, including ongoing criminal and civil investigations in New York. Mukasey, who also serves as a lawyer for Jared Kushner’s friend Ken Carson, who received a presidential amnesty from Trump, is currently fighting state accusations in New York on suspicion of spying on his ex-wife.

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But the Daily Beast report Mukasey hasn’t been very active in Trumpland since he signed with Gates last week. And this month, he officially resigned as Eric Trump’s adviser in a NYAG civil investigation.

Former Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and the only woman on the crew, Kirschner, maintains a low profile, Impressive record In fact, for decades or more, including protecting prominent men from allegations of sexual misconduct.

Her most notable recent clients in the field include shameful former Columbia University obstetrician and gynecologist Robert Hadden. Accused Of sexually assaulting many patients Including Evelyn Yang, The wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Kirschner also represented former NYAG Erik Schneiderman, who resigned in 2018 in accusations of physical assault by several women.Prosecutor Refused to sueHowever, it cites “deficiencies” in statute of limitations and law.

Former New York Attorney General Tristan Snell told The Daily Beast that the lineup suggests that Congressmen are “anticipating a trial.”

“It looks like a scorched earth operation,” Snell told The Daily Beast. “These are all big lawyers outside the town. If your goal is to solve something, you are usually the district’s best criminal lawyer, then a repeater, and with its US law firm. Hire someone with a good working relationship, but these lawyers can go there and burn the building, so you don’t have to worry about returning the next day. “

Former federal prosecutor Jill Wine Banks shared that interpretation.

“The fact that he hires a lawyer for the trial may suggest that they are preparing for the trial, not negotiations. But the lawyer for the trial goes over the prosecutor to the judiciary. It’s not uncommon to go to the province and plea on behalf of the client, “she said. “But in my experience of not prosecuting for the meeting, I can’t think of the time that happened to me.”

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Winebanks added that Gates still needs to maintain a local lawyer. “People who have something to do with the prosecution and can persuade them.” She also observed that defense outside the town involves “huge costs.”

“Bringing an aggressive lawyer from outside the town suggests a’scorched earth’strategy,” said Barb McWade, another former federal prosecutor and professor of practice at the University of Michigan Law School. Stated.

“It may work in public opinion courts, but it’s rarely effective in courts,” McCaid said.

Gates is reportedly facing a variety of criminal charges, including: Underage sex trafficking, Obstruction of justice, Election fund violation,and Drastic political influence scheme.. The investigation began with the indictment of Joel Greenberg, a self-declared “wingman” last summer. Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to a series of denials, including sexual trafficking, at the heart of Gates’ investigation in May. ..

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On the plea, Greenberg signed a cooperation agreement with the government. Gates spelling trouble..The day Greenberg was pleaed, his lawyer Told reporters“I’m sure Matt Gaetz doesn’t feel very comfortable today.”

Gates completely denies that claim. And, as he often points out, he has not been charged with crime. A spokeswoman declined to comment on this article because of its policy of not discussing lawyers and legal strategies.

However, a lawyer familiar with the investigation told The Daily Beast that Gates’ defense team showed not only the seriousness of the allegations, but also the scope of the investigation.

“This is a sitting parliamentarian and they will fight all teeth and nails,” the lawyer said.

“We need to remember that there are a lot of crimes under investigation here,” continued the lawyer. “I have [alleged] Sex trafficking, prostitution, obstruction of justice, and [Department of Justice] The Public Integrity Unit has an even bigger case of political influence and marijuana-related issues. In addition to that, there seems to be election funds. “

The election funding aspect is a more recent development.

Previously report The campaign paid Fernich $ 25,000 for “legal advice” and didn’t know what the job was for. However, those familiar with the matter have confirmed with The Daily Beast that Fernich represents the campaign in connection with the Justice Department’s investigation. However, Fernich has experience representing unpopular clients famous for high-wire cases, including sex crimes, but no experience in election funding law.

CNN report In April, the federal government was considering the possibility of Gates using campaign donations in connection with women’s travel and other expenses.And the Daily Beast report In May, Gates used a donor to pay for a hotel room in a fundraising campaign in the Orlando area in 2019. There he is alleged to have cocaine with an escort. Formal onboarding of election funds in June suggests that Gates is taking the prospect of a breach of election funds seriously.

The company’s website promotes Fernich’s style and his eyes on “subtle, novel and creative discussions that other lawyers may miss”, such discussions “from a seemingly desperate case.” You can create potential winners and spell out the difference between victory and defeat. “

According to the Federal Election Commission, with the exception of the Getz campaign, the Federal Election Commission does not pay Fernich for legal services. data..

Currently the site list Marquee’s fourth client, “Matt Gaetz’s Friend-Campaign Committee for the US House of Representatives,” following the Gambino mob bosses John Gotti, El Chapo, and Epstein. All three were convicted. Lanier, Judgment Last year, he was sentenced to 120 years in prison for sexual trafficking and has the following claims after the Gates campaign:

Winebanks called Fernich’s choice in the campaign “cheerful,” but said the defense lawyer specializes in gymnastics. “You need to be an instant expert on certain things,” she said.

McQuade said Fernich’s choice suggests that the campaign may be primarily related to the presentation of a militant image.

“Clients often hire lawyers based on the recommendations of others or their reputation for being aggressive, but lawyers lack practical experience in relevant subjects or in other jurisdictions.” She nodded to Fernich. “In these situations, you may think that the purpose of the representative is more about public relations than an effective representative in court.”

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Another lawyer familiar with the investigation told The Daily Beast: Not only through prosecution, but through trial. “

Mr. Snell said that Gates’ legal lineup is his Combat reaction In the first report on this spring’s survey.

“Based on hiring these lawyers, I think he could take a proactive approach, try to break the credibility of the prosecution, and perhaps turn the table and bring them to trial,” Snell said. rice field. He added that Gates could afford to be “a little more hostile” during the investigation phase by hiring a top-notch lawyer in Orlando, where the case is being handled. Gates did not poison his well, Snell pointed out. His Panhandle parliamentary district is several hours west.

Snell also observed that “Gates’ instinct” reminded former President Donald Trump and counterattacked with extortion, a “deep state” plan, and a hyperbolic allegation of politically motivated prosecution.

A few days after the investigation was published, Gates called on President Joe Biden’s Attorney General. By name..

“Some party scammers are certain, [Attorney General] Merrick Garland’s Justice Department wants to chase me overturning the truth and the law. I am not threatened or blackmailed, “Gates wrote. (Gates survey Reportedly It opened last summer under the Trump-appointed AG Billbar. )

“For criminals, prosecution feels like blackmail,” Snell said of the tactic.

Gates is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the agency that seized the phone. Under the warrant Since last December, he has Deep state attack..And he put the rhetoric back a bit, but recently Press statement According to the case’s unnamed defense lawyer, the Gates team will try to hurt the character of the two star witnesses in the case (Greenberg and a former teenager), regardless of possible supporting evidence. Suggests.

However, while Gates may be happy with his strong advice, the hiring process wasn’t entirely smooth.

Two weeks before the campaign hired Fernitch, it held the DC company Zuckerman Spaeder for the same amount, $ 25,000. However, the relationship seems to have died on the vine.

A spokesperson for a company asked for comment on Wednesday told The Daily Beast that “Zuckerman Spader is neither an individual representative of Congressman Gates nor a representative of his campaign.”

For more information, see The Daily Beast.

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