Donald Trump lawyer James Trusty appears to be just as steely in real life as he is on CNN—with an exclusive report from The Guardian revealing how its political investigations reporter, Hugo Lowell, overheard a searing conversation between Trusty and Trump lawyers Evan Corcoran and Lindsey Halligan during a dinner at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach in September last year. And on Thursday night, Lowell revealed just how he did it.
The bitch session came just hours after the Trump team appeared united before federal judge Aileen Cannon, requesting a special master in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, which she eventually granted.
Lowell, who managed to snag a seat next to the team while eating out last year, recognized Trusty and overheard him loudly complaining about Trump’s in-house counsel, Boris Epshteyn. Trusty apparently had a number of issues with the firebrand, including having to run all legal decisions by Trump’s former 2020 strategic advisor, who has remained close to Trump even after leaving the White House. Trusty moaned that Epshteyn had created “game of thrones nonsense” within the legal team that he found distracting.
Trump lawyer Jim Trusty’s frustrations with the legal team emerged over dinner at the five-star Breakers hotel hours after the special master hearing. He was overheard by this @guardian reporter who happened to be sitting at the table next to them. https://t.co/S0oWBMdvni pic.twitter.com/2qUydqvIoL
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) June 1, 2023
“I had a tip that they were staying at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach and I figured they would need to get dinner at some point,” Lowell said Thursday night on NewsNation, adding that it was “pure luck” that he was sat next to them in the corner of the seafood bar.
Lowell told Dan Abrams that Trusty spilled his guts at the dinner table “over the course of about an hour,” talking “about all of his frustrations with his legal team, with the legal strategy.”
“I wasn’t sure if it was just a bad day or if he was venting,” Lowell said.
In the wake of Timothy Parlatore’s shock resignation from Trump’s legal team last week, Lowell said the incident underscored “the longstanding tension that has been the undercurrent of this legal team and how it kind of threatens to undermine all of that defense work.”
The incident led Howell to an investigation, which he says “uncovers an element of Trump’s legal team being at each other’s throat and kind of mired in distrust.”
At least six people familiar with the situation discussed the Trump legal team’s toxic dynamics, including how some of the lawyers—who went unnamed—agreed to a “murder-suicide” pact where, if Parlatore were to be fired, “others would resign in solidarity.”
In a statement, a Trump spokesperson told The Guardian: “This is completely false and is rooted in pure fantasy. The real story is the illegal weaponization of the Justice Department and their witch-hunts targeted to influence an election in order to try and prevent President Trump from returning to the White House.”