Marc Kasowitz (Rick Kopstein/NYLJ)
A spokesman for President Donald Trump’s personal attorney acknowledged late Thursday that the lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, had sent “inappropriate” emails the previous evening to someone who had urged him to resign.
According to ProPublica, which published the emails on Thursday, Kasowitz sent profanity-laden messages to a retired public relations professional who said it was “in the long-term interest” of Kasowitz and his firm to step down from the president’s legal team.
Kasowitz replied to the man, whose name ProPublica did not publish, “You are fucking with me now” and “Let’s see who you are […] Watch your back, bitch.”
Kasowitz also demanded the man call him and provided his cellphone number, then called the man a “piece of shit” twice.
ProPublica posted the email thread less than two days after publishing a story that questioned whether Kasowitz could obtain a security clearance and suggested he had a history of alcohol abuse and inappropriate behavior.
Kasowitz, a founding partner of Kasowitz Benson Torres in New York, forcefully denied the first ProPublica report concerning his alleged drinking and behavior, calling it defamatory.
His spokesman, Michael Sitrick, said Thursday that Kasowitz would apologize for the profanity-laced emails to his critic.
Sitrick’s statement said: “Mr. Kasowitz, who is tied up with client matters, said he intends to apologize to the writer of the email referenced in today’s ProPublica story. While no excuse, the email came at the end of a very long day that at 10 p.m. was not yet over. ‘The person sending that email is entitled to his opinion and I should not have responded in that inappropriate manner,’ Mr. Kasowitz said. ‘I intend to send him an email stating just that. This is one of those times where one wishes he could reverse the clock, but of course I can’t.’”
According to ProPublica, a “retired public relations professional in the western United States” whom Kasowitz did now know first emailed Kasowitz’s law firm address just before 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, after Rachael Maddow featured the earlier ProPublica report in her show on MSNBC.
The man urged Kasowitz to resign, warning that his name “may turn out to be a disparaging historical footnote” in Trump’s presidency.
Kasowitz’s reply, according to ProPublica: “F*ck you.”
And a few minutes later:
“And you don’t know me but I will know you
How dare you send me an email like that
I’m on you know. You are fucking with me know
Let’s see who you are
Watch your back, bitch.”
A spokesperson for Kasowitz’s firm didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ronald Rossi, a New York partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres who works in Marc Kasowitz’s practice group, said the coverage this week has frustrated lawyers at the firm. “We’re under attack or under siege trying to represent a client,” he said.
Even so, morale has remained high within the New York law office, Rossi said.
“I don’t think [Kasowitz's] ability to work on the president’s case has been compromised in any way,” he added. “As crazy as this might seem, it’s been very much business as usual.”
Rossi—who represents the Russian bank Sberbank and a Russian mining company as well as U.S. companies like Levi Strauss & Co. and airplane maker Spirit AeroSystems—said he hasn’t received any client inquiries about the attention the firm received this week.
He called the initial ProPublica story about Kasowitz and the history of drinking the news organization alleged a “disgusting, gratuitous piece of hack journalism.”
Rossi also defended the character of Kasowitz, whom he’s worked with since 2002. He said he had never seen Kasowitz intoxicated, and “he always speaks his mind in an appropriate and appropriately nuanced way depending on the situation.”
He credited Kasowitz with growing the firm. (Kasowitz Benson has bounced around in size and rank on the Am Law 200 over the past 10 years. It currently ranks as the 137th largest U.S. firm by revenue, with 263 lawyers.)
“I was an officer in the Navy before I went to law school, and there are just some people who are fantastic leaders. If Marc Kasowitz had decided to go into the Navy, he’d be an admiral now,” Rossi said.