Former President Donald Trump has added a new attorney, Chris Kise, to his legal team as his problems with the law continue to grow, according to a new report from Politico. Kise is Florida’s former solicitor general and will represent Trump in the wake of the FBI searching his Mar-a-Lago home and removing dozens of boxes of sensitive documents.
Trump’s legal team has “faced criticism for its handling of the case in the Southern District of Florida, including its struggle to handle basic administrative tasks and make timely requests of the court. Trump’s team has tried to argue that the former president has the ability and right to declassify documents, that as a former president he is not bound to the same laws regarding the handling of classified materials, and some of the materials are covered by executive or attorney-client privilege. Trump has also sought to frame the dispute as a bookkeeping matter over presidential records, requiring negotiation with the National Archives, not criminal proceedings.”
“The Archives spent months attempting to recover the highly classified materials housed at Mar-a-Lago and grew alarmed when Trump resisted permitting a Justice Department review of the files Trump had agreed to return earlier in the year, leading the agencies to suspect there were additional documents Trump had not returned.
Kise joins Evan Corcoran and Jim Trusty in advising Trump on the Florida probe, one of several the former president faces across multiple venues.”
The real kicker for Trump, however, is that he will have to pay for Kise’s representation on his own, as the Republican National Convention will not be picking up the tag, as confirmed by a person familiar with the matter. In the past, the RNC has, paid for Trump’s legal bills involving the investigation into his private businesses by New York Attorney General Leticia James. The committee would stop paying for any of Trump’s legal fees if he officially declares he is running for president again in 2024.
Kise is known as a “fixture in Florida Republican politics,” and comes from the firm Foley and Lardner, but as of the writing of the Politico piece is no longer listed on the firms’ website.
Once Floria’s top litigator, Kise was also counsel to former Florida Governor Charlie Crist and served as the general counsel to the transition teams of former Florida Governor Rick Scott and current Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Lobbyist and fundraiser for Trump and DeSantis, Brian Ballard, called Kise “one of the finest lawyers I’ve ever worked with” and added “I think President Trump got a really good lawyer and really good counselor and a fighter.”