The mainstream media breathlessly reported over the weekend that two Trump attorneys had lied about the relationship between President Trump and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. This came after the House Oversight Democrats sent a letter containing the allegation of "evolving stories" to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone for a late Friday news drop. The House Oversight Democrats and the mainstream media chose to smear former White House ethics attorney and current RNLA Board of Governors member Stefan Passantino for making false statements because of notes taken by Office of Government Ethics staff regarding one statement he made regarding his understanding of the nature of the attorney-client relationship between President Trump and Mr. Cohen:
My understanding [sic] that in the course of legal services, he [Cohen] was authorized to outlay and that was part of retainer agreement. Legal fees charged on monthly basis. Sees it as revolving credit as what shouldn't be disclosed.
The prosecutors charging Mr. Cohen -- the same prosecutors that charged him for something that is not a crime -- concluded that no retainer agreement existed. The underlying dispute over whether a retainer agreement existed; whether it was a retainer-like arrangement under a different name; whether no agreement existed; or whether some other representation and reimbursement arrangement existed is immaterial. Mr. Passantino was relaying his understanding of the relationship between President Trump and Mr. Cohen. To charge him with making false statements because he may or may not have understood the nuances of the relationship once again demonstrates liberals' and the mainstream media's rush to paint conservatives, Republicans, or anyone who supports President Trump in a negative light.
As Mr. Passantino's former law partner and RNLA member Doug Chalmers wrote (emphasis added):
There have been some news stories in recent days on Rep. Elijah Cummings’s claim that former White House Deputy Counsel Stefan Passantino provided false information to government investigators. I feel compelled to address this garbage from Mr. Cummings.
Stefan is my former law partner, and we worked closely together for five years. I can tell you unequivocally that there is no chance - literally none - that he would lie or knowingly provide false information to the Office of Government Ethics. Indeed, when one reads Mr. Cummings’s letter - which was conveniently released to the media late on the Friday afternoon of a 3-day weekend - it very quickly becomes clear that his allegation rests on a ridiculously flimsy basis. Yet social media is already awash with critical comments about Stefan from those on the left.
For those of us who represent politicians for a living, it is a fact of life that sometimes people attack us as a means of attacking our clients. That is all that is happening here. Stefan is not only an excellent ethics lawyer, he is an ethical attorney. If you read anything to the contrary, don’t you believe it. You can safely ascribe it to what it is: simply another demonstration of the ugly politics of personal destruction.