- Ted Olson has publicly rebuked President Donald Trump twice over the past two weeks and turned down the president’s offer to work on his legal team.
- Olson, who was President George W. Bush’s solicitor general, has described Trump’s White House as chaotic and criticized the administration for siding with a New York court in a terrorism case.
- Trump’s legal team representing him in the Russia investigation has been shaken up over the past few weeks.
A top lawyer from the Bush administration who rejected President Donald Trump’s offer to join his legal team has publicly criticized the White House in a stunning rebuke of the administration’s stability, according to The Washington Post.
Ted Olson, who served as President George W. Bush’s solicitor general and represented him in the landmark Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case in 2000 that handed Bush the presidency, slammed the White House’s frequent personnel changes.
“I think everybody would agree: This is turmoil. It’s chaos. It’s confusion. It’s not good for anything,” Olson said Monday on MSNBC. “We always believe that there should be an orderly process – and of course government is not clean or orderly ever – but this seems to be beyond normal.”
Last week, a colleague of Olson’s named Ted Boutros tweeted that Olson and another lawyer at his law firm, Gibson Dunn, would not be joining Trump’s legal team representing him in the Russia investigation.
This is not the first time Olson has publicly criticized Trump. In an op-ed article in Fox News last week, Olson argued that the administration’s siding with a New York court earlier this month undermined the Anti-Terrorism Act, which Olson called “one of America’s most important counter-terrorism laws.”
Olson is one of several lawyers Trump has tried to tap to join his legal team amid a wide-ranging shakeup – and as it becomes increasingly possible that the president will sit for an interview with Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
One of Trump’s top lawyers, John Dowd, resigned from his team last week, saying the president was refusing to listen to his advice about the Russia investigation.
And two lawyers Trump had hoped to hire – Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing – also apparently backed out over the weekend. Toensing is already representing Mark Corallo, another person involved in the investigation.