If you will recall, Trump held a Press Conference where he vowed to divest his business dealings. Trump had legal representation present to explain his decisions on what to do about his business interests while he is President. Lawyer Sheri Dillion took the podium at one point and announced:
“To that end, as he explained a few moments ago, he directed me and my colleagues at the law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius to design a structure for his business empire that would completely isolate him from the management of the company. He further instructed that we build in protections that will assure the American people the decisions he makes and the actions he takes as president are for their benefit and not to support his financial interests.”
“The conflicts of interest laws simply do not apply to the president or the vice president. And they are not required to separate themselves from their financial assets. The primary conflicts of interest statute, since some have questioned this, is section 18, USC 208. It is simply inapplicable by its terms.”
Lost in all the hoopla over whether or not Trump cares about conflicts of interests (read: he doesn’t), is this little gem about the law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius: just last year they were awarded a “Law firm of the year” award in, wait for it, RUSSIA!!!
MOSCOW, May 2, 2016: Morgan Lewis has been recognized by Chambers & Partners’ 2016 Chambers Europe guide as Russia Law Firm of the Year. The prestigious honor was announced at the publication’s recent annual awards dinner in London, where firms from 24 countries were recognized.
Morgan Lewis’s Moscow office provides full-service business representation for clients, including advice on corporate and finance matters; mergers and acquisitions; transactional finance; litigation and international arbitration; energy and natural resources projects; real estate property transactions; labor and employment issues; immigration; and a wide range of regulatory matters. The Moscow team includes seasoned lawyers and specialists with experience throughout the region, including in Kazakhstan (working with Morgan Lewis colleagues in Almaty and Astana) and other countries of the former Soviet Union, including in the Central Asia and Caspian regions. (source)
While it is indeed an international firm with offices all over the globe, Trump using a law firm with an office in Moscow with deep ties to Russian businesses seems like bad timing, at best, especially considering that this press conference was more than not about Trump denying his ties to Russia.