As the TV ad goes, if you’ve got a phone, you’ve got a lawyer. Donald Trump has a phone, but can only afford a public defender.
Having reportedly run out money to hire grossly expensive legal talent, ex-President Donald Trump has been assigned a public defender in his case involving former stripper Stormy Daniels.
The public defender, Johnny Cockatoo, 28, is regarded as an up-and-coming attorney after failing the law bar examination only three times before finally passing. His law professors called Cockatoo a student full of potential to defend down-and-out clients who can’t afford the hefty $200-$400 per hour legal fees that a typical attorney might charge.
Trump is said to have gone broke after paying a galaxy of attorney hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees to represent him in numerous lawsuits filed against him. Some of these attorneys claim Trump ‘stiffed” them in never paying for their legal work.
Trump called that charge “BS, a gross lie.” If, for very good reasons, he didn’t pay the attorneys immediately, he would get around to it in good time, promised the former president.
“I’m the most honest, reputable person you’ll ever find anywhere. Ask my daughter Ivanka, ask my son-in-law Jared, they’ll vouch for me. Okay?” Trump said.
“By the way,” Trump added, “I’m not really broke despite what you hear from the fake lamestream media, okay? I still got tons of money. My people are just consolidating my portfolio for the time being, okay?”
For his part, Cockatoo says he’s nothing like the public defender that was comically portrayed in the film, My Cousin Vinny. That public defender’s shaky nerves and severe studder didn’t exactly help his defendant’s case after he was accused of murder. The public defender in the movie stutters through a line of ill-prepared questions that ends up helping the prosecution and that possibly could put his client in the electric chair.
Don’t compare him to that “stupid idiot” in the movie, said Cockatoo. In fact, Cockatoo added, he’s lost only a couple of cases in the last year, which wasn’t his fault. Cockatoo maintained the judge in one of those cases was prejudiced against him. The judge didn’t like long-haired men, like Cockatoo, who wore an ill-fitting suit, as did the lawyer in the movie featuring “Vinny” LaGuardia Gambini.
Cockatoo is a former B- student at a paralegal law school in Waycross, Georgia, after which it only took him 9 years to get his credentials to be a lawyer representing indigent criminal defendants.
Cockatoo said he had an issue with the My Cousin Vinny movie. He said it was cruel and unfair of the film directors to belittle public defenders as somehow the last resort to use in a court of law for those accused of crimes. It’s a fallacy, Cockatoo said indignantly, to portray public defenders as somehow less worthy than full-blown trial attorneys earning millions in legal fees.
“We may not be the richest people in the work, but we do this work because we believe in it,” said Cockatoo. “The truth is I’m a great lawyer, ask anybody and they’ll tell you that, okay?”
Cockatoo pointed out that the office of public defender deals with persistent underfunding that forces its lawyers to work long hours and represent numerous clients at far less money than they would at a private law firm. In essence, they are required to do more with less, causing their clients to suffer.
“But Mr. Trump need not worry,” said Cockatoo. “I’ll give it all I got. If he loses, he loses. Won’t be the end of the world. At least for me. But he’ll get my best. And that’s pretty darn good. Okay?”
Cockatoo will represent the ex-president in the case where Trump is accused of making hush money payments in 2016 to the adult film actress.
Specifically, the jury in this case will determine whether Trump and his company’s associates illegally falsified business records to cover up the payments, and whether Trump did so to conceal a second crime of making the payments himself.
Though not part of the trail, Daniels claims she and the former president had an extramarital affair.
Daniels reportedly received $130,000 from Trump, and in exchange, she agreed not to discuss her story with reporters. Trump maintains he did nothing wrong, and the charges should be dropped. In a social media post, he called the trial “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time” and added, “NEVER HAD AN AFFAIR.”
Cockatoo said he’s already got a brilliant legal defense plan worked out for the ex-president, which he will reveal when the case goes to trial.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss my strategy, but rest assured, Mr. Trump will like it.”
And if he doesn’t, Cockatoo added, “he can always go try to find another lawyer. But good luck trying to find one better than me, okay?”
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