In an animated scene from Bob's Burgers, a large Black stallion (Jericho) stands over Tina's bed

About That Time Donald Trump Tried To Pay His Lawyer With a Horse

We’ve got yet another book about the Trump administration on the way, this one from the New York Times’ business investigations editor David Enrich. The book, titled Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump, and the Corruption of Justice, “reveals the dark side of American law” via the story of Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, and its years of service to Donald Trump.

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The firm’s work for Trump is reportedly just one part of the story, but that one part includes an absolutely hilarious anecdote about a time Trump tried to pay his legal bills not with money, but with a horse.

According the The Guardian, which obtained an early copy of the book, an unnamed lawyer from a prestigious law firm was getting frustrated when unable to get Trump to pay his $2 million legal bill.

“After a while, the lawyer lost patience, and he showed up, unannounced, at Trump Tower. Someone sent him up to Trump’s office. Trump was initially pleased to see him – he didn’t betray any sense of sheepishness – but the lawyer was steaming.

“‘I’m incredibly disappointed,’ he scolded Trump. ‘There’s no reason you haven’t paid us.’

“Trump made some apologetic noises. Then he said: ‘I’m not going to pay your bill. I’m going to give you something more valuable.’ What on earth is he talking about? the lawyer wondered. ‘I have a stallion,’ Trump continued. ‘It’s worth $5m.’ Trump rummaged around in a filing cabinet and pulled out what he said was a deed to a horse. He handed it to the lawyer.”

Enrich writes that “once he regained the capacity for speech,” the lawyer to whom Trump offered a stallion supposedly worth $5m “stammered … ‘This isn’t the 1800s. You can’t pay me with a horse.’”

Trump, who is notorious for allegedly not paying his legal bills, apparently “eventually coughed up at least a portion of what he owed” after the lawyer refused the horse and threatened to sue. But I feel like this anecdote leaves us with far more questions than it does answers. A horse is such a bizarre, specific thing to offer as currency, this couldn’t have been the first time he’d tried to use one (a different one? the same one??) to pay his debts. I’m just imagining 1990s business mogul Donald Trump constantly trying to offload a horse on all his associates. Also, since Trump is not exactly an honest dealer, I have trouble believing the horse was actually worth $5 million. What was wrong with the horse and what ended up happening to it?

I have so many questions about the horse!

(via The Guardian, image: Fox)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.