In mid-September, media reports found that former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise was paid a whopping $3 million advance to represent the former president after the FBI seized 11,000 sensitive files from his Florida home in August.
However, Kise was officially sidelined from the federal probe by Tuesday. CNN reported that the lawyer is expected to stay on Trump’s legal team but will not be leading the defense.
Although Trump representatives haven’t explained the reason for the shift, observers are suggesting that Kise may focus on other investigations facing the former president, such as a recent lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general over allegations of a long-running tax-dodging scheme.
Considering that Kise is no longer the top attorney, his $3 million advance might seem a tad high ― especially since Trump has a long history of allegedly stiffing the people who work for him. However, Kise’s salary was covered by the former president’s key fundraising arm, the Save America political action committee.
Online, the latest news about Kise inspired all sorts of hilarious speculation from Twitter users.
Obviously this means the lawyer must have given Trump actual legal advice. https://t.co/EHILqOESN9
— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) September 27, 2022
GREEN EGGS AND SPIES
I don't like green eggs and spies
I don't like Trump and his ugly ties
I don't like espionage gals or guys
Or Pence's head: it collects flies
I don't secrets the Saudi buys
I don't like lies, how Trumpy tries
But now he's had to fire Chris Kise https://t.co/NFRb9BGhsmpic.twitter.com/e3trMQKzdT
— Tomi T Ahonen Standing By Ukraine (@tomiahonen) September 27, 2022
So Kise is a $3 million dollar benchwarmer?
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) September 27, 2022
Trump is already throwing over Chris Kise after signing a $3M retainer and convincing him to leave Foley & Lardner? That seems ... not smart.
Chaos monkey gonna chaos monkey, I guess.https://t.co/lkShsvkwGI
— Liz Dye (@5DollarFeminist) September 27, 2022
The one credible lawyer that Trump has hired in years, Chris Kise, paying $3M up front, now has been demoted and is no longer leading the MAL defense. Must be Trump's payback for the fix he's now in w/ Judge Dearie. He thinks he's Goldfinger/Dr.No but he's really Austin Powers.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) September 27, 2022
This is why Trump has trouble attracting talented lawyers. Chris Kise left his firm to take this case, and reportedly he has already been sidelined.
I presume the $3 million payment he received was just a retainer, and the remainder will be returned to Trump. https://t.co/uFd3sYK4J9
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) September 27, 2022
Trump spent $3 million upfront to get DeSantis lawyer Chris Kise onto his legal team for the Mar-a-Lago documents case.
Now Kise is off the team. Why?
Because he wouldn't lie to the Court? Because the money didn't come through? Because Trump fired him in a huff?
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) September 27, 2022
Donald Trump paid Chris Kise $3 million less than a month ago to oversee the Mar-A-Lago case and he's now being sidelined. Sounds like the Mar-A-Lago case is going well for Trump.
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) September 27, 2022
My GUESS as to why Donald sidelined Chris Kise: he wouldn't lie for him about the documents being planted or declassified - or Kise wanted to say they aren't asserting declassification or malfeasance by the FBI. Donald only likes lawyers that will push his narratives.
— Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote) September 27, 2022
Amazing. I wonder if Trump yanked the $3 million fee he’d agreed to pay Chris Kise? Or maybe he never actually paid Kise up front? Either way, quitting seems the only smart move Kise made since signing on with Trump. https://t.co/099k5rcgjF
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 27, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.