Donald Trump’s lawyer has made him pay his $3 million upfront fee, as a condition of representing the notorious ex-president who is dodging payments.
Chris Kise, who had been a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, agreed to act on Trump’s behalf in the investigation into the search for Mar-a-Lago and the classified documents found there.
Several lawyers approached by Trump’s team turned down the job, fearing Trump would not listen to their advice and refuse to pay them.
Trump rejected Rudy Giuliani’s letter requesting payment of $2.5 million in January 2021 for “defending yourself during the Russian hoax investigation and then the impeachment,” and in the 1990s declined, according to a new book, to pay the $2 million attorney’s fees and instead offered him a horse.
Kise, 57, is seen as a serious legal genius and was recruited by Trump’s allies: he has won four cases before the US Supreme Court and is well-versed in Florida courts.
Chris Kise is seen leaving the West Palm Beach courthouse on Sept. 1 during a hearing about the Mar-a-Lago raid. Kise is reportedly prepaid
Trump golfs at Trump National Golf Club on Sept. 13 in Sterling, Virginia
Trump, seen at a Save America rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Sept. 3, refuses to pay many people who work for him
Authorities stand guard outside Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 9. Trump was in Manhattan at the time of the raid
The search for Mar-a-Lago is now the subject of an investigation, with Kise representing Trump
But before the veteran lawyer accepted the high-profile and challenging case, he insisted that he be paid in advance, Politics reported on Thursday.
The money came from Trump’s campaign group Save America PAC, to which its supporters are regularly asked to donate.
The agreement between Kise and Trump stipulated that if the case drags on, Kise can ask for more.
He could also eventually deal with the issues surrounding a separate investigation into Trump’s actions around the Capitol Riot, The Wall Street Journal said.
Trump’s reputation for not paying people he contracts to work for him is legendary.
While he ran for president in 2016, USA today research reported that hundreds of people — carpenters, dishwashers, painters, lawyers — said he wouldn’t pay them for their work.
They uncovered more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades brought by people who said Trump and his companies were not paying them the agreed amount.
The FBI search warrant affidavit for the Mar-a-Lago estate search, released Aug. 27. Mar-a-Lago was ambushed on August 9.
Local law enforcement officers are seen in front of Mar-a-Lago on August 9 – the day of the FBI search
Trump told the newspaper at the time that he had no regrets.
“Let’s say they’re doing a job that isn’t right, or a job they haven’t finished, or a job that’s come way too late. I will absolutely subtract from their contract,” Trump said. “The country should do that.”
A new book, published this week by New York Times reporter David Enrich, cites a meeting in the 1990s with “a lawyer at a white-shoe firm” whose $2 million fee Trump refused to pay.
“After a while, the lawyer lost his temper and showed up at Trump Tower unannounced,” Enrich writes.
“Someone sent him to Trump’s office. Trump was initially happy to see him — he didn’t betray any sense of sheepishness — but the lawyer steamed.
“I am incredibly disappointed,” he scolded Trump. “There’s no reason you haven’t paid us.”
Donald Trump once tried to settle a $2 million lawyer bill with the deed for a $5 million stallion, according to a new book
New York Times reporter David Enrich’s ‘Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump and the Corruption of Justice’ to be published Sept. 13
Trump made apologetic noises. Then he said, “I’m not going to pay your bill. I’m going to give you something more valuable.’
‘What the hell is he talking about? the lawyer wondered.
“I have a stallion,” Trump continued. “It’s worth five million dollars.”
Trump rummaged through a filing cabinet and pulled out what he believed to be a deed to a horse. He gave it to the lawyer.’
Enrich describes the attorney’s bewildered and angry response, threatening a lawsuit.
Trump, Enrich writes, “finally coughed up at least some of what he owed.”