Donald Trump Enlisted Former U.S. Prosecutor Todd Blanche to His Defense Ahead of Arraignment

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Apr. 4 2023, Published 3:19 p.m. ET

Todd Blanche
Source: Getty Images

Who is Todd Blanche, whose name sprouted up in headlines nationwide ahead of former President Donald Trump’s arraignment?

In short, Blanche is an attorney and a former federal prosecutor who has joined Trump’s legal counsel.

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According to The New York Times, Trump added Blanche to his defense team on Monday, April 3, one day before he was due to surrender to authorities in New York City to face charges related to an alleged hush-money payment.

Blanche will work alongside Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina, Trump lawyers who have been representing the former Apprentice star during the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation. Trump, who was indicted at the end of March, denies wrongdoing.

Todd Blanche was a partner at the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft but resigned to work with Trump.

Susan Necheles, Todd Blanche, and Joe Tacopina
Source: Getty Images

Susan Necheles, Todd Blanche, and Joe Tacopina depart Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Blanche was a partner at the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New York City — the city’s oldest law firm, in fact — but he gave up that job to help defend Trump, according to a resignation email obtained by Politico.

“I have been asked to represent Trump in the recently charged D.A. 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 told his colleagues in the email.

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Blanche also explained that he couldn’t stay at the firm while representing Trump.“Obviously, doing this as a partner at Cadwalader was not an option, so I have had to make the difficult choice to leave the firm,” he wrote, per Politico.

Blanche represented a high-profile Trump associates before taking on the ex-president’s case.

According to the Times, Blanche is an “aggressive but measured” attorney who has extensive experience in white-collar cases — and who has gotten clients from Trump’s inner circle. For example, he represents top Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, who reportedly advocated for Trump to hire Blanche, per the Times.

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Blanche also represented Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, in a 2019 mortgage fraud case brought on by the Manhattan district attorney. As Politico notes, Blanche got those charges dropped with a double-jeopardy defense, successfully arguing that Manafort had already been tried for federal charges for the same alleged conduct.

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Blanche, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School, previously served as assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, working on white-collar cases and co-leading the office’s violent crimes unit, according to the Times.

It appears he has started his own law firm.

Citing a LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to Blanche, Newsweek reports that Blanche founded his own law firm, called Blanche Law, earlier this month.

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And Trump’s current legal team could represent him at trial, too, unless there’s a conflict of interest. Dave Aronberg, a state attorney in Palm Beach County, Fla., told Newsweek that a possible former attorney-client relationship between Tacopina and Stormy Daniels, the alleged hush-money recipient, might present a conflict of interest in Trump’s current legal team. If Trump does end up getting new lawyers, he would want “someone who will do has he says,” Aronberg added.

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