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A Lawyer for Trump's Campaign Manager Once Lost His Job After Biting a Florida Stripper

A man accused of violence against a woman is helping defend a guy accused of violence against a woman.
Then-US Attorney Kendall Coffey talks with reporters in front of federal court on Friday, May 17, 1996, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Donald Trump isn't running a traditional campaign, and he doesn't surround himself with traditional, or even experienced, staffers. One of his top foreign policy advisors cites a stint in Model UN on his résumé, and Trump's most prominent spokesperson to date is a 26-year-old working her first political job. Then, of course, there's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was charged with simple battery on Tuesday for grabbing a female journalist who was trying to ask the boss a question at an event earlier this month. But even by Trump standards, Kendall Coffey, one of the attorneys reportedly representing Lewandowski, seems like a strange choice.


As Salon reported in 2000, Coffey was once the US attorney in southern Florida, a plush gig as a federal prosecutor where he focused on drug cases, immigration violations, and fraud in the healthcare system. But after losing a case against two alleged drug traffickers in February 1996, he apparently went out on the town, shelling out $900 for a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne at a strip club called Lipstik. According to the Miami Herald, when he began dishing out another $200 in "Lipstik money" for a private dance with a performer named Tiffany, Coffey got frisky, kissing her on the lips (a real no-no) and, when she pulled away, biting her arm.

"He bit her, but not like a crazy man,'' the woman's husband told the Sun-Sentinel in 1996. "But he did break the skin."

The prosecutor drew blood too, according to the Herald, and an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice in Washington was enough to send Coffey packing. (Coffey denied ever going to the club, much less biting the woman, that March, but he did resign a day after being summoned to Washington over the probe.)

The attorney's career wasn't over, though. He later got involved in the Elian Gonzalez custody fiasco, and was even retained by Al Gore's recount legal squad in the aftermath of the disputed 2000 election. Now Coffey is once again squarely in the thick of a heated presidential election, another sideshow in a country full of them.