It's not been a great month for Trump lawyers keeping their hands off.
Jones Day has been targeted by protestors, its own lawyers and a $500k anti-Trump campaign for appearing to help the President undermine the US election result.
Together with another firm, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, Jones Day has filed four lawsuits in Pennsylvania alone challenging mail-in ballots.
Numerous cases brought by Trump and various Republican Party entities alleging voter fraud have already been dismissed, and the remaining lawsuits are widely predicted to fail on the basis that none have been able to muster any specific examples of fraud, and because President-Elect Joe Biden's margin of victory is too large to overcome.
A judge's interrogation of a Porter lawyer provided some insight into the quality of the arguments:
Jones Day has deep links to the Trump administration, having provided over a dozen lawyers to the White House in 2016, including former White House Counsel Don McGahn, and has boasted of its Presidential connections on its website. Like the President and his administration, it has also battled allegations of toxic culture and sexual harassment.
Some US firms such as Kirkland & Ellis refused to work for Trump, but the association proved lucrative for Jones Day, which earned more than $20 million in fees acting in around 20 cases involving Trump, his campaign, and the Republican Party.
However, it is now being targeted on multiple fronts for appearing to abet Trump's attempts to cling on to power.
Protests have sprung up outside several of its offices, including in San Francisco where a giant mural has been painted on the road outside its building. The 240 foot long message spelled out "Count every Vote", and "Jones Day: Hands off our ballots".
A new mural popped up in #SanFrancisco in response to President Donald Trump's lawsuits to battleground states in the #Election2020. The mural is outside the offices of @JonesDay, a law firm the mural alleges is representing Trump. @sfchronicle pic.twitter.com/uVyWQPiUPP— Santiago Mejia (@SantiagoMejia) November 7, 2020
A well-funded group of Republican 'never Trumpers', The Lincoln Project, has launched a $500,000 TV and social media campaign targeting Jones Day and its clients for the role it is playing in the Republican Party's attempts to overturn the election result.
“I’d like to know how General Motors justifies working with a company that’s aggressively seeking to undermine the validity of a free and fair democratic election”, Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist and co-founder of the Lincoln Project, told the Washington Post.
The Lincoln Project has encouraged people to email and phone the office numbers of the lead Jones Day lawyers in the Pennsylvania litigation, Ronald Hicks and Carolyn McGee, and to deluge Jones Day with objections.
Enough have answered the call that anyone stumbling across Jones Day’s social media posts would be forgiven for thinking it is supporting a coup.
Another group, The Meidas Touch, has posted a YouTube video titled 'Shame on you Jones Day'. Targeting potential employees, it asks "Are you a law school graduate looking to work for a big law firm? Are you interested in sedition and overthrowing democracy in the United States? Well, do we have the place for you! Jones Day!" The video has garnered 44,000 views in two days.
In an attempt to repel the attacks, Jones Day released a statement this week insisting that it was "not representing President Trump, his campaign, or any affiliated party in any litigation alleging voter fraud" and that it "also is not representing any entity in any litigation challenging or contesting the results of the 2020 general election".
Calling media reports to the contrary "false", it said that it was merely representing the Republican Party of Pennsylvania in an attempt to force the review of an order which extended the deadline for mail-in ballots in the state. Given that mail-in voting just so happens to be overwhelmingly used by Democratic Party voters, and handed Biden his lead in many states, Jones Day's clarification appears unlikely to silence its critics.
"Jones Day will not withdraw from that representation", insisted the firm, adding that it "expects that the media will correct the numerous false reports given the facts set forth above, all of which were readily verifiable in the public record".
Some lawyers within Jones Day are understood to be unhappy that, even as it appeared Trump openly sought to undermine the rule of law, the firm continued to behave like a heat seeking missile aimed up his ass.
“To me, it seems extremely shortsighted,” a Jones Day lawyer told The New York Times.
"I imagine those lawyers will be told that they can take their discomfort, and shove it where the sun doesn't shine", suggested a commentator on the RollOnFriday Discussion Board. Although, pointed out another poster, Jones Day's gross revenue for 2019 was around the $2.08 billon mark, "so there's a lot more that $20m to lose if big clients leave over this".
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