10 Things in Politics: Inside Trump's stable of lawyers

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Here’s what we’re talking about today:

  • This is Trump’s team fighting his legal battles
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz reportedly sought a blanket pardon
  • These 17 Gen Z climate activists are ready to challenge Biden

With Jordan Erb.

1. ALL OF TRUMP’S LAWYERS: Former President Donald Trump faces legal jeopardy on multiple fronts. He runs the risk of becoming the first president to be indicted. In his corner is a mix of lawyers who helped him try to overturn the election, plus those who defended him during his first impeachment. Even in the ever-changing Trumpworld, there are many familiar faces.

Here’s a peek at Insider’s exclusive list of Trump’s team:

Election challengers: Sidney Powell and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are outcasts now, but Trump leans on other campaign veterans who played less high-profile roles in the post-election fight.

  • Key names: Justin Clark, a former deputy campaign manager, continues to coordinate Trump’s legal efforts. Multiple Trump advisors have criticized Clark over his handling of court fights across battleground states that fizzled amid the baseless and conspiracy-heavy strategy advanced by Powell and others. Alex Cannon, a top campaign lawyer, has been tasked with unwinding Trump’s failed reelection campaign. He may also feature prominently in any comeback bid.

Jay Sekulow.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The Ukraine team and White House alums: Jay Sekulow, Michael Purpura, Patrick Philbin, Eric D. Herschmann, and former White House counsel Pat Cipollone all remain involved in Trump’s current affairs after joining the successful defense in his first impeachment.

Marc Mukasey (left) in 2019.Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

The New York team: Trumpworld remains concerned about the Manhattan investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances. The former president has held onto a respected team to fight it.

  • The big names: Marc Mukasey, a New York-based criminal defense lawyer and son of former Attorney General Michael Mukasey; Alan Futerfas and Jane Raskin, a criminal defense lawyer who had previously helped Trump in the Russia investigation and in his first impeachment trial. Lawrence Rosen, a lawyer who advised Trump on issues related to Stormy Daniels’ hush-money payment, is also involved.
  • There may be more trouble coming their way: A lawyer for Jennifer Weisselberg, the former daughter-in-law of a top Trump Organization employee, says Weisselberg has more documents to hand over to prosecutors. 

Read the rest of our exclusive report on Trump’s team.

2. Rep. Matt Gaetz reportedly sought a blanket pardon from Trump: The Florida Republican privately asked the White House for pardons for himself and other members of Congress just before Trump left office, The New York Times reports. It’s unclear if the White House knew about the Justice Department’s probe into whether Gaetz engaged in sex trafficking. Gaetz’s office denies that he had sex with a 17-year-old or that he specifically requested a pardon related to the investigation. More on the latest development in Gaetz’s scandal.

3. Biden shifts the vaccine goalposts again: He announced that all American adults will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine by April 19. This comes after Biden already shifted his original goal from 100 million to 200 million shots — and had given states a May deadline to open eligibility.

  • Fauci said vaccines likely work against variants. In an exclusive interview with Insider, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that concerns about vaccines’ efficacy with new variants are overblown: “I don’t believe that there’s anything to panic about at this point.” These studies have Fauci feeling confident.

Other pandemic news:

  • Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 — one week after getting his first shot. Immunity isn’t immediate. The CDC reports that the vaccine Gianforte was given is 80% effective after two weeks. 
  • So is your governor vaccinated yet? Check our running list of which governors are — or aren’t — vaccinated here.

Insider

4. These 17 Gen Z climate activists are ready to challenge Biden: The pandemic forced young climate activists off the streets to Zoom calls and TikTok. Here’s a peek at names you should be watching.

Indi Howeth, Maya Lazzaro, Anisa Nanavati and Isaac VergunPhotos courtesy of Indi Howeth, Maya Lazzaro, Anisa Nanavati and Isaac Vergun

  • Naina Agrawal-Hardin, 18, spokesperson at Sunrise Movement: “Part of the amazing thing about movements and especially movements led by young people is that we can think on our feet and we can adapt to new environments, and new contexts,” she said.
  • Benji Backer, 23, founder and president of American Conservation Coalition: He sees the organization’s mission in the Biden years as twofold: moving the Republican Party fully away from climate denial, and pressuring Biden to embrace bipartisan solutions on climate change.
  • Maya Lazzaro, 25, youth council member at Earth Guardians’ Indigenous Youth Committee: Lazzaro is a strong supporter of Indigenous sovereignty, and while she supports activism at the national level, she said that “with our Indigenous youth training our intention is to create our own spaces by us and for us.”

Read the rest of our exclusive list here.

5. White House says no to vaccine passports: Press Secretary Jen Psaki made it clear that Americans won’t be required to carry proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status. These so-called vaccination passports have garnered momentum lately as the US prepares to open up, and some states — including Texas and Florida — have already banned them. Psaki said “there will be no federal vaccinations database.”

6. More of Derek Chauvin’s former colleagues testified against him: Prosecutors called three Minneapolis police officers, some of whom trained Chauvin directly, as they sought to drive home that he violated department policy by not taking his knee off of George Floyd’s neck. But the defense did get a concession when Lt. Johnny Mercil, who is a use-of-force instructor for the department, said some images appeared to show Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s shoulder. More key moments from day 7 of the landmark trial.

7.  Mitch McConnell wants corporations to stay out of politics … except when they donate: McConnell, the Senate minority leader, made clear that his order to CEOs to stay out of politics is not about political contributions. His clarification isn’t surprising — McConnell has spent decades fighting limits on campaign contributions. But his comments make clear the odd juxtaposition of CEOs criticizing Republican efforts to pass restrictive voting laws while many of their’ political arms support both parties. More on the fallout here.

8. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin’s trial resumes 
  • 10:30 a.m.: Fauci and other members of the White House pandemic team hold a news briefing
  • 12:15 p.m.: Psaki holds the White House daily news briefing with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo
  • 1:45 p.m.: Biden speaks about his infrastructure plan. Vice President Harris will also attend.

Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of FloridaAP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

9. Remembering Rep. Alcee Hastings: Hastings, a 15-term congressman, died at 84 after a career that saw him appointed as Florida’s first Black federal judge since reconstruction, then being impeached on corruption charges. He staged a comeback as a congressman who focused on advancing a progressive agenda in the Democratic Party. More on his legacy here.

10. Want to be like Mike? Here’s what it’s like at Michael Jordan’s secret golf course: Even though the NBA star has sworn his guests to secrecy, stories about the course are starting to emerge. The exclusive club has fewer than 100 members and invite-only tee times. Guests are saying the course was designed by Jordan, for Jordan, and aimed at maximizing his style of play against his opponents — earning it the nickname “Slaughterhouse 23.”

Today’s trivia question: This president was such a regular at Augusta National, home to the Masters, that a cabin was built for him. Who was it?

  • Yesterday’s answer: The secret message that accelerated America’s entry into WWI was the Zimmerman Telegram or note. British cryptographers deciphered the message from a top German official offering Mexico US land in return for joining the German cause. 

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