New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has entered a not guilty plea to charges of soliciting prostitution at a Florida massage parlor, and also has hired a close friend of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a lawyer in the case, court records show.
Kraft’s local lawyer, Jack Goldberger, also has requested a non-jury trial for two misdemeanor counts facing the 77-year-old billionaire in Palm Beach County Court, according to a filing there. The so-called bench trial that Kraft wants would have a judge acting as both judge and jury in his case.
Goldberger is representing Kraft along with avid Patriots fan William Burck, a high-powered Washington, D.C., attorney who is a longtime friend of Kavanaugh’s, with whom he worked in the White House during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Last year, Burck was hired by Bush to lead a legal team that reviewed documents from his administration before they were released to the Senate committee reviewing Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Burck also represented President Donald Trump’s former White House counsel, Don McGahn, in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probes, and crafted the controversial strategy of having McGahn spend more than 30 hours talking to Mueller’s investigators.
Kraft, a Trump friend whose professional football team won its sixth Super Bowl earlier this month, is accused of soliciting sexual services for pay on two consecutive days at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, which is located in an unglamorous strip mall in Jupiter, Florida.
His second alleged visit there, on Jan. 20, occurred hours before he attended the AFC championship game in Kansas City, Missouri, where the Patriots defeated the Chiefs.
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