Who is Jay Sekulow, Donald Trump’s contradictory new lawyer?

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The conservative lawyer was thrust into the spotlight as part of Trumps legal team in the Russia investigation though he seems hazy on the actual details

Donald Trumps new lawyer, Jay Sekulow, burst into the public consciousness this weekend with a series of fiery if contradictory interviews on the Sunday morning news shows.

The chief counsel for the conservative American Center for Law and Justice( ACLJ) was thrust into the spotlight as a member of the presidents legal team regarding investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 electoral campaign and links between Trump aides and Moscow.

Unfortunately for Sekulow, his introduction to the nation involved insisting across several networks that Trump was not being investigated for firing FBI director James Comey despite the president having tweeted on Friday that he was and then admitting that, actually, he did not know if Trump was being investigated after all.

Despite his lack of name recognition among much of the public, Sekulow long been a well-known figure on the Christian right.

Out of courtroom, the 61 -year-old is the author of books including Why Israel Matters; Undemocratic: Rogue, Reckless and Renegade: How the Government is Stealing Democracy One Agency at a Time and Unholy Alliance: the Agenda Iran, Russia, and Jihadists Share for Defeating the World.

He also hosts Jay Sekulow Live !, a daily radio reveal broadcast on more than 800 stations, and has more than 4 million followers on Facebook, where his posts alternate between warns about Christians free speech being impinged and videos of the Jay Sekulow Band pumping out religious-themed mid-tempo boulder. On Twitter, Sekulows 124,000 adherents include Ted Cruz and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. In May, Sekulow guest-hosted the latters radio display.

Like Trump, Sekulow is from New York City Brooklyn to the presidents Queens. Like Trump, Sekulow is a veteran of Fox News, where he serves as a legal analyst.

On Sunday, however, Sekulow fought on what should have been his easiest appearing, telling Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that Trump was being investigated by the Department of Justice then categorically denying he had said so.

Things didnt get any better. Sekulow tried to reset by telling Wallace Trump was not under any investigation, but Wallace called him out.

You dont know that he isnt under investigation now, do you? Wallace said.

Well , no ones notified us that he is, Sekulow responded. So I I cant read people brains, but I can tell you this: we have not been notified that theres an investigation to the president of the United States.

Sekulow is not operating in his area of expertise. According to the ACLJ, which was founded in 1990 by the evangelist Pat Robertson, he has argued 12 examples before the supreme court, mostly pertaining to perceived threats to religion liberty.

Sekulow is not war criminals attorney, Josh Marshall, editor of Talking Phases Memo, wrote earlier this month. Hes not a defense attorney. Hes not even an attorney with any specialty in litigating the specific legal privileges of a president.

There is literally nothing in Sekulows professional background( other than perhaps simply having a statute degree) which would suit him to the very concrete legal task of defending a sitting president from legal jeopardy.

Sekulows work has proved controversial. The ACLJ has been criticized by LGBTQ advocacy organization the Human Rights Campaign and the media-monitoring website Right Wing Watch considering its run fighting same-sex matrimony.

In a 2005, meanwhile, the Legal Times reported that Sekulow had via interconnected nonprofit and for-profit entities, built an empire that generates millions of dollars a year and supports a lavish lifestyle. In response, Sekulow said he had never had a blip of fiscal irregularity.

In 2011, the Tennessean reported that the ACLJ and Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism which Sekulow formed in the 1980 s paid $33 m in the membership of Sekulows family and enterprises they own or co-own over the previous 13 years. Sekulow own family members did not respond to the newspapers questions; an ACLJ spokesman said Sekulow was one of the most successful lawyers in the two countries whose income was very low and owns a very small home.

Such accusations do not appear to have decreased Sekulows standing among the Christian right.

On Monday morning, the ACLJ did not immediately respond to a request to interview Sekulow. But Sekulow, speaking on his own radio show, seemed to have changed tacking.

If research reports are true that the president is being investigated for the termination of James Comey, he told, you gotta put it in context. So the Department of Justice recommended the removal of James Comey. The president taken any steps on that recommendation , now the president is being investigated by the Department of Justice. Supposedly: we dont have confirmation on this.

So the president is purportedly being investigated for doing what the Department of Justice, whos doing police investigations, asked about to do.

That cant be constitutional, that cant be correct.

Read more here: http :// www.theguardian.com/ us