Trump Hires Former Florida Solicitor General as Lawyer in Documents Case
Former President Donald J. Trump has hired a high-profile lawyer to help him with the aftermath of the F.B.I. search of his club and home in Florida and the criminal investigation into his handling of sensitive government documents.
The lawyer, Christopher M. Kise, is a former solicitor general for the State of Florida who has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court and worked as a transition adviser for Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican. Mr. Kise, who is now in private practice, formally joined the team in recent days, according to two of Mr. Trump’s associates. His hiring was earlier reported by NBC News.
Mr. Kise is joining a team that a number of other high-profile lawyers have steered clear of, concerned about Mr. Trump’s history of nonpayment or his insistence on trying to run his own legal efforts.
His hiring had been in the works for several weeks since the Aug. 8 search, according to two people close to Mr. Trump.
Mr. Kise will join two lawyers who are not licensed in Florida — James Trusty and M. Evan Corcoran — on the case, which is related to the handling of hundreds of pages of government documents, many marked as highly classified. Mr. Trump had been keeping the documents at his members-only club and home in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, since he left the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, at the end of his term.
Mr. Trusty and Mr. Corcoran are both former federal prosecutors; Mr. Trusty has experience prosecuting organized crime. The closest thing to a quarterback of the legal team is Boris Epshteyn, a onetime lawyer at the firm Milbank who became active in politics and worked on both of Mr. Trump’s campaigns, and who has championed Mr. Trump’s claims, debunked in dozens of lawsuits, that the election was stolen from him.
Mr. Kise is expected to be part of the team appearing in federal court in Florida on Thursday before Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee. Judge Cannon has signaled her intention to allow the appointment of a special master that Mr. Trump is seeking to review whether any of the material taken by the federal agents is covered under executive privilege.
The request has raised questions, as Mr. Trump is no longer the sitting president and executive privilege covers the office of the presidency.
The Justice Department has said officials have already filtered out material taken during the search that could potentially be covered by attorney-client privilege, saying it was limited in quantity. But that is a separate concern from the special master appointment Mr. Trump’s lawyers are seeking.