Former President Donald Trump has added a new lawyer to his legal team as he faces potential criminal exposure from a records dispute with the National Archives that has escalated into a federal investigation.
Chris Kise, Florida’s former solicitor general who served as an adviser on Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s transition team, joined Trump’s legal team three weeks after the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, people familiar with the hiring confirmed on Tuesday.
The ex-solicitor general with deep ties to the state traveled to Bedminster, New Jersey, last Thursday to meet with Trump and his legal team and has been involved in drafting motions, according to a person familiar with Kise’s hiring.
Kise’s hiring comes as Trump and his aides have struggled to add veteran criminal defense lawyers to his current stable of lawyers, who have little experience dealing with the Justice Department in a complex federal investigation.
NBC News first reported the news about Kise. He joins attorneys Jim Trusty, Evan Corcoran, Boris Epshteyn and Christina Bobb on Trump’s team, but his title is unclear.
Trump and his lawyers involved with the investigation before Kise was hired face potential criminal exposure about whether Trump violated the Espionage Act and other statutes. Any lawyer who made assurances to the FBI on Trump’s behalf might face legal exposure as well or could become a witness in a case.
Kise has successfully argued several cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court and has previously worked with DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
Trump’s team has so far struggled to find their legal footing: After Trump requested the appointment of a “special master” to screen records seized by the FBI from his Mar-a-Lago Club last week, the judge presiding over the issue asked his attorneys to clarify the 27-page motion that was panned by legal experts.