"The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” – Henry VI, Part II, Act IV, Scene II
This quote is often invoked as a Shakespearean lawyer joke. It’s true that Shakespeare may not have been a fan of lawyers (he was incredibly litigious!) but in the context of the play, the quote actually underscores how lawyers are an essential bulwark against tyranny. Jack Cade, a pretender to the throne, imagines the future under his rule: “[T]here shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.” In response, Dick the Butcher quips that to achieve this lawless utopia, the guardians of the law must be eliminated. Trump’s coup attempt, in which he used lawyers as his main weapons, though, calls this wisdom into question: Why kill the lawyers if you can co-opt them to do your bidding? To uphold the rule of law, holding Trump’s lawyers professionally accountable is as important as any criminal charges the Justice Department may bring against him.
In case you missed it, the “Kraken” legal team is facing a slew of disciplinary proceedings and lawsuits related to their representation of the Big Lie in court. Rudy Giuliani’s law license has already been suspended in both New York and D.C., and disbarment proceedings are currently underway in the latter. Last year, federal judge Linda Parker ordered monetary sanctions against Sidney Powell and eight other Trump lawyers, and also referred them for possible disbarment. Other lawyers, like John Eastman and Jeffrey Clark, are under investigation by the state bars of California and D.C., respectively. In her sanctions order against Powell and others, Judge Parker called the efforts of the Kraken team “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process.”