Based on the attorneys he’s hired to represent him as the FBI and federal prosecutors continue to investigate him for allegedly taking an underage girl across state lines, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is expecting that there are bad days ahead for him and that “grave” criminal charges will eventually be filed, according to a report from The Daily Beast.
Gaetz is personally represented by Marc Mukasey, who has defended the Trump Organization in several high-profile disputes, as well as Isabelle Kirshner, a partner at Clayman & Rosenberg LLP. Kirshner is a top Manhattan criminal defense attorney who also represented former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after multiple women accused him of physical assault.
Separately, the Gaetz campaign—Friends of Matt Gaetz—also looked north when in June it retained New York-based trial lawyer Marc Fernich. Fernich’s client list includes child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, and convicted sex trafficker Keith Raniere, who led the NXIVM cult. While Fernich is familiar with sex crimes cases, he does not have experience with campaign finance law.
How do you know you’re in big legal trouble? When you wind up retaining the same attorney who represented the late Jeffrey Epstein and one of the most notorious drug lords on the face of the planet.
Former assistant New York attorney general Tristan Snell noted that Gaetz’s choice of attorneys suggests he has no interest in trying to resolve the issue or plead to lesser charges in exchange for leniency:
“It looks like a scorched-earth approach. These are all big out-of-town lawyers. If your goal is to resolve something, you typically hire the top criminal defense attorney in the district, someone who’s a repeat customer there and has a good working relationship with that U.S. Attorney’s office. But these attorneys can go down there, burn down the building, and not have to worry about going back in the next day.”
However, playing hardball with the feds carries tremendous risks, especially since the maximum sentence Gaetz cold receive if convicted is life in prison.
Additionally, the fact that no charges have yet been filed against Gaetz is also a troubling sign, because it suggests prosecutors are continuing to gather evidence and are planning to hit the Florida congressman a raft of criminal indictments:
“In fact, legal experts told The Daily Beast, the perceived lull is nothing outside the norm and can be chalked up to a number of factors—including a wide range of charges that investigators could be exploring. Although Gaetz and his allies like to interpret the lack of charges as an indication of innocence, the delays could just as easily suggest that the charges that could be coming down the pike are extremely grave and complex.”
Sounds like there are some very dark days ahead for Matt Gaetz. And the only person to blame is the guy he sees when he looks in the mirror.
Featured Image Via NBC News