September 19, 2022

Former President Donald Trump’s legal woes have mounted since he left office, including criminal and civil investigations into the Trump Organization.

The most recent example is a federal investigation into his handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida. A Facebook post claimed his legal team has reached its breaking point.

“Trսmp Lawyers ALL QUIT on Him at the SAME TIME,” according to the caption on a video shared Sept. 10 on Facebook. The video post has since been removed from Facebook.

It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We found no proof that Trump’s legal team has abandoned him or that they are avoiding contact with him. The attorneys submitted a legal filing on Trump’s behalf Sept. 12, two days after the video was posted.

The video — and its caption about the attorneys quitting — originated on YouTube from political commentator Christo Aivalis, who claimed Sept. 9 that a recent series of developments involving Trump’s defense have been “devastating” for Trump, one of which was his lawyers abandoning him.

“Trump’s entire legal team has suddenly quit on him when he needs them most,” Aivalis said.

He said the former president’s lawyers had “gone radio silent,” refusing contact with Trump and not corroborating his claim that the Federal Bureau of Investigation planted evidence when it searched his Mar-a-Lago home.

“They’ve disappeared and they won’t talk about the lies that he’s making,” Aivalis claimed.

Aivalis’ claim appears to rely on a summary of political analyst Steve Benen’s take on Trumps’ defense strategy.

Benen, a producer for “The Rachel Maddow Show,” wrote about the Justice Department’s investigation and social media posts Trump made on Truth Social. In them, Trump accused the FBI of spying on his campaign, breaking into his home, losing documents and planting fake evidence.

Benen said there was a gap between what Trump said on social media and what his lawyers have said in court.

Outside of Aivalis’ video, there have been no media reports of Trump’s legal team dropping him as a client or avoiding contact with him.

Trump does have a history of combative relationships with his lawyers.

Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer, turned against Trump after being sentenced to three years in prisons for crimes he said were committed on the former president’s behalf. And Trump’s entire defense team for his impeachment related to the U.S. Capitol attack quit days before the trial was supposed to begin in late January 2021.

Trump also had trouble recruiting lawyers for his current defense team. The Washington Post reported that multiple attorneys declined to help represent him against the U.S. government.

Our ruling

A video shared on Facebook says, “Trսmp Lawyers ALL QUIT on Him at the SAME TIME.”

The headline is misleading. There is no evidence to suggest that Trump’s lawyers have abandoned him as a client.

His legal team submitted a filing to the court days after the video claimed they had quit.

We rate this claim False.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for this fact check here and more of their fact checks here.

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Andy Nguyen is a contributor to PolitiFact based in Los Angeles. He also writes for Patch covering local and national news. Nguyen previously wrote for…
Andy Nguyen

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