What Made Trump Hire Religious Right Lawyer Jay Sekulow? - 2017-06-19
Religious Right attorney Jay Sekulow, founder of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), is in the national spotlight after he made the rounds of Sunday political talk shows, including a not-very-successful appearance on Fox News Sunday. Sekulow recently joined President Donald Trump's growing legal team; he had already taken part in right-wing efforts to smear former FBI Director James Comey and spin his testimony in Trump's favor.
Salon's Heather Digby Parton surmised that Trump may have hired Sekulow after seeing him on Fox, where he has frequently appeared as a guest commentator. It's also possible that Sekulow came to join the team through Trump's extensive ties with Religious Right leaders. In January, Sekulow and his son Jordan—also an ACLJ official—celebrated Trump's nomination of Jeff Sessions to be U.S. attorney general. Jordan said it was the "most exciting" of Trump's nominations and complained that during the Obama administration, the Department of Justice had "gotten obsessed with this civil rights issue."
Sekulow may have also proven his Trump-worthy chops by urging Republicans not to consider an Obama nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Or maybe Trump admired Sekulow's long history of promoting right-wing conspiracy theories, most recently the Sean Hannity-promoted argument that former DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered over his supposed links to WikiLeaks. During the presidential campaign, when Trump made his infamous remark about women who have abortions needing to face "some sort of punishment" if the procedure is outlawed, Sekulow went to great lengths on his radio program to argue that Trump was not "legally wrong."