On the eve of Donald Trump’s New York City arrangement, he hired a new attorney.
The former president of the United States welcomed white-collar defense attorney Todd Blanche to his legal team to represent him in the case brought against him by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Blanche is said to serve as “additional firepower” to the Trump legal team, a source told Fox News, as the politician is to be charged with 34 felony counts on April 4 after he was allegedly paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels while he was a presidential candidate in 2016.
In addition to Blanche, Trump’s criminal defense team includes Susan R. Necheles and Joseph Tacopina who have been representing the former president in the Bragg-led investigation that led to his indictment on March 30.
While sources close to the matter confirmed Blanche’s latest legal role, the attorney himself has not publicly commented on the topic. However, an update on his LinkedIn profile reflects his recent move as he listed his current job as a founding partner of Blanche Law as of April 2023.
A 1996 graduate from American University with a degree in law from Brooklyn Law School, Blanche worked in the United States Attorneys’ Offices for almost a decade and has represented notable figures associated with Trump in various legal cases in the years that followed.
Blanche’s move to rep Trump comes after the politician reportedly struggled to assemble a team of respected defense lawyers, the Washington Post noted. “Everyone is saying no,” a prominent Republican lawyer (who spoke on the condition of anonymity), told the outlet.
Here’s everything to know about Blanche, the newest legal expert to join Trump’s defense team.
He’s leaving New York City’s oldest law firm to represent Trump
Blanche is a former federal prosecutor. His move to join Trump’s legal team comes after leaving New York City’s oldest law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft where he was a partner for five years.
The lawyer’s decision to part ways with the white-collar defense and investigations practice was learned via an email sent from Blanch to the firm. Politico obtained the email and was the first to report the news.
“I have been asked to represent Trump in the recently charged DA case, and after much thought/consideration, I have decided it is the best thing for me to do and an opportunity I should not pass up,” Blanche said in the note.
He has worked for the US Attorney’s Offices for nine years
Prior to his tenure at the NYC law firm, Blanche served as former assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York for nine years. He has extensive experience in white-collar cases that involve investigating and prosecuting tax fraud, money laundering, Medicaid and federal programs frauds, bank and wire frauds, racketeering, homicides, armed robberies, firearms and narcotics offenses.
He previously represented Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort
Blanche has experience representing political figures associated with Trump, including Paul Manafort. The politician’s former campaign chairman from May to August 2016, Manafort worked with Blanche after the Manhattan DAO indicted him in 2019 on charges of mortgage fraud and other state felony.
Manafort was charged as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in 2019 and pleaded guilty to foreign lobbying and witness tampering, as well as tax fraud and conspiracy. (Manafort was sentenced to over seven years in prison.)
Additionally, he faced financial crime charges related in large part to his lobbying work in Ukraine.
He previously represented Rudy Guiliani’s associate, Igor Fruman
Blanche also defended Rudy Guiliani’s associate Igor Fruman, who agreed to a plea deal in a campaign finance case that landed him a one-year prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to foreign campaign violations and was sentenced in January 2022.