Kise ‘Sidelined’ Cuz Won’t Lie for Trump

CNN anchor Don Lemon and CNN legal analyst Elie Honig have a strong hunch that Trump attorney Chris Kise has been “sidelined” from leading the Mar-a-Lago defense because he won’t lie for former President Donald Trump.

Kise is the attorney who quit his job at a prestigious firm and got a $3 million payday to lead the defense team for the Mar-a-Lago Espionage Act investigation. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported that after only a few weeks, Kise has been “sidelined” from that case, but that “reason for the shift in Kise’s role remains unclear.”

On Tuesday night’s edition of CNN’s Don Lemon TonightLemon and Honig settled on a likely reason, without definitively saying so — that Kise may have been unwilling to lie for Trump:

LEMON: I want to ask about this. Trump has a new addition to his legal team. His name is Chris Kise. He’s getting sidelined from Mar-a- Lago documents investigation. He was the big name brought up less than a month ago to really represent Trump on the issue, even negotiated a $3 million-payment up front. He may still focus on other Trump investigations. But what is happening with him? Why is he being sidelined?

HONIG: Well, it’s hard to say. Chris Kise is one of the sorts of more accomplished lawyers on Trump’s legal team. Really the quality of his lawyering so far has been poor, and I think I’m being sort of generous at even stating it that way. The arguments have been weak, the strategy has been all over the map, and we are seeing it backfire, for example, with the special master.

These claims that Trump is making, that he declassified documents, the documents were planted, the judge now, the special master, is calling him out on it. And part of the dilemma, I think, for any lawyer whether it’s Chris Kise or anybody else is you cannot make a false statement to a court knowingly.

And if you are put in that position as a lawyer, then you have to step off of the case. I don’t know that that is happening here, but the fact and if Chris Kise is in fact being sidelined or somehow minimized, that is not a good sign for Donald Trump and his legal strategy.

LEMON: Is it Kise or is it that there is really no defense at this point or no good defense, I should say?

HONIG: Well, any good defense lawyer can come up with a decent defense. It could be that there is a miscommunication or a lack of trust between the client, Donald Trump, and the lawyer. It could be that Chris Kise is not willing to make certain defenses —

LEMON: Right.

HONIG: — that Donald Trump would want him to make, and that gets back to the ethical point that I said before, you can’t go into court and say something if you believe is false. So, when that happens, you do see parting of ways sometimes.

LEMON: The special master gave Trump a Friday deadline to put up or shut up about documents that he claims were planted by the DOJ in the search and seizure. Now, we are hearing about benching their $3- million-dollar attorney. Is it clear to you that Trump’s lawyers know how to proceed here? Maybe they don’t really know how to proceed?

As I keep saying, maybe there is no good defense, and the only defense is — I don’t know, possibly to not tell the truth or make things up or do things that they shouldn’t be doing as attorneys, I don’ don’t know.

HONIG: Yeah, these lawyers are in a tough spot. This judge, the special master, has put them to the (INAUDIBLE), gave them a Friday deadline. They cannot go in there, Don, and say, yes, he declassified documents if they don’t believe that is true.

Watch above via CNN.

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