This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
FROM THE BLACK WE HEAR-LISMAN (V.O.) No, I -(beat) I mean yes. Yes, you-Yes, I -(beat) I mean no. FADE IN: INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BRIEFING ROOM - DAY CONGRESSMAN WALTER LISMAN of Texas’ thirteenth district is having a press conference right now. He’s been in Congress for twenty terms and doesn’t look a day over seventy. Lovably eccentric, or just plain senile, with LISMAN, you can’t tell the difference. MARK is one of about a hundred other reporters at this press conference. LISMAN Next question. Looks around, calls on-Erica. LISMAN (CONT’D) MARK (V.O.) LISMAN (V.O.)
MAUREEN It’s Maureen, Congressman. I wanted to follow up on Mark’s question. No. LISMAN
MAUREEN No, to Mark’s question, or no on following up? LISMAN Neither. Next question. Dan. MATT It’s Matt. When you say neither --
2. LISMAN I meant neither. MATT I understand that. But what I don’t -and I can speak for everyone here -You can? Yes. LISMAN MATT
LISMAN You’re not speaking for me. MATT Due respect Congressman, you do a fine job speaking for yourself. LISMAN Then why do you still have questions? Because-MATT
LISMAN Not, you. (pointing to another REPORTER) You. JENNIFER Following up on the earlier question -Which one? LISMAN
JENNIFER The one regarding the your possible legal strategy -LISMAN That’s a good one. JENNIFER The strategy? LISMAN No. The question. How so? JENNIFER
3. LISMAN I don’t have one. The room erupts. LISMAN calls on -ANDREW So, when you said you had a strategy-LISMAN When did I say that? ANDREW Two minutes ago, when you said you didn’t, then you did -LISMAN This morning I was charged with sixteen ethics violations in the House of Representatives. My lawyers’ve got something up their sleeves. (points to--) Kevin? INT. WAHR, DANVILLE & ASSOCIATES - SAUL’S OFFICE - DAY SAUL WAHR, an earnest, well meaning guy who’s hard not to like, even if he’s spent the better part of the past ten years stressed out of his mind. He’s with the one and only partner of his law firm, PETER DANVILLE, good looking, and for the first time in a long time -- and we’ll find out why in just a second, he’s pretty well rested. SAUL Kruger, Crane & Calahan -Yeah. DANVILLE
SAUL Can I finish my question? Yeah. DANVILLE
SAUL Haven’t we represented clients suing those represented by Kruger, Crane & Calahan? Several. DANVILLE
SAUL All the more reason to work for them.
4. DANVILLE The salary reductions are the only reason I need. SAUL I have reduced my salary just as much-DANVILLE Eighteen times. SAUL You’ve been counting? DANVILLE My wife has. SAUL How very nice of her. DANVILLE It was. You know what’s even nicer than that? No. SAUL
DANVILLE That she helped me realize that a law firm without any clients-SAUL We will get clients. DANVILLE But we don’t have any clients. We won’t have clients until we win cases. SAUL We’ve won cases. DANVILLE We’ve settled cases. But I don’t want to settle. I want to win, and winning’s something that’s in short supply around here. We haven’t kept a client after a single one, which last time I checked was the point of having a law firm. SAUL That’s the point? DANVILLE Is that a question?
DANVILLE How is that-SAUL It’s a question because the last time I checked, and I don’t need to check very often because I know that the point of a law practice -- the point of practicing law is to defend people, be it their interests, be it their livelihoods, be it their lives. To do right unto the law, and enable oneself through the system of justice to bring just action to unjust people. DANVILLE (beat) God, I thought that was going to last a lot longer than it did. SAUL Hopefully you’ll find a version of justice sufficient for a cocktail napkin at Screw, Screw & Screw Yourself. DANVILLE (leaving) You wanna’ know how many zeros a cocktail napkin can hold? No. SAUL
DANVILLE (left) A shit-ton. DANVILLE slamms the door, leaving SAUL. INT. KRUGER, CRANE & CALAHAN - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY Which reeks of power. LISMAN’s with FREDERICK CLACK, LISMAN’S Chief of Staff, closest advisor, and best friend. They are with RICHARD CALAHAN, one of the name partners, who, by the looks of the place, looks his part. He’s got a rent-a-crowd of a few aggressive, competent ASSOCIATES. LISMAN Who are they?
6. CALAHAN Some of our associates. LISMAN Associates? Yes. CALAHAN
LISMAN They don’t have their name on the door? No, but -CALAHAN
LISMAN No buts. I want name partners in here. CALAHAN Congressman. LISMAN This is -(to CLACK) What have we been paying them for? CALAHAN That’s the -CLACK For representation. CALAHAN You see Gentleman-LISMAN No, you see Mr. Calahan. I’m a client seeking counsel. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I’m on trial. There’s a point where you’re supposed to jump in here. CALAHAN We have attempted to ‘jump in.’ You have? LISMAN
CALAHAN Yes, Congressman. But there’s another matter -CLACK A conflict of interest?
7. LISMAN Which interest? CLACK There is no conflict of interest. LISMAN It sounds like there’s a conflict. CALAHAN Funny you should say that. (to one of the Associates) Denise. DENISE slides over a very thick folder. CALAHAN (CONT’D) This is the conflict in which we’re interested. LISMAN What’s this? CLACK takes it. CALAHAN Services rendered. We have yet to receive adequate compensation. LISMAN Compensation? Money. CALAHAN
LISMAN I understand that. CALAHAN As does Mr. Clack, apparently. CLACK is paralyzed. LISMAN (snaps in his face) Freddy. (snaps again) Hello? Off CLACK’s suspension.
8. INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT A little more cramped than the last conference room we were just in. SAUL’S having a staff meeting with every associate of his firm, which is all of two people. Introducing, MATT WELLER and JENNIFER FORD, and they’ve both been licensed to practice law for as many months as they have years of age. SAUL This is Washington D.C., lawyer capitol of the world. There are three lawyers in this room and neither of you can find a single client for this firm to represent? MATT Congressman Lisman. Lisman? He’s -SAUL MATT
SAUL Represented. MATT Not anymore. What? Not -SAUL MATT
SAUL I mean -- why is he no longer represented? JENNIFER His retainer didn’t cover it anymore. MATT A retainer at Kruger, Crane and Calahan. No. SAUL
MATT One month’s retainer from there would support us for a -No. SAUL
9. JENNIFER SAUL MATT
Saul? NO. Why not?
SAUL You guys aren’t -We are. MATT
SAUL No, you’re not. MATT We should be. We’ve got rent. JENNIFER And student loans. MATT And car payments. SAUL For an Audi. MATT It’s pre-owned. SAUL Is there a bong under this table? If only. JENNIFER
SAUL There better be because that’s the only way I could possibly explain what I hope is a collective drug high poorly disguised as a good idea. An idea, to represent a client, charged with sixteen ethics violations among them, insider trading, tax evasion, solicitation, and those are just the ones I vaguely remember from ignoring FOX News this morning. (beat) (MORE)
10. SAUL (CONT'D) If we’re going to represent a client, it’s going to be because we’re doing the right thing. There is nothing right about representing that client. Off MATT and JENNIFER. INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - NIGHT LISMAN’s with CLACK. How much? LISMAN
CLACK slides over the folder from before. LISMAN stops breathing. CLACK We don’t have representation. Not until we pay this off. LISMAN How are we going to do that? Legally? CLACK
LISMAN Preferably. CLACK I don’t know. Illegally? No. LISMAN CLACK
LISMAN How about less than legally? CLACK That would still be illegal. LISMAN Depending on how you look at it. CLACK It wouldn’t depend on how I look at it. It’d depend on how Congress would look at it, and judging from how hard Congress is already looking at you --
11. LISMAN Yeah, yeah. An idea comes to LISMAN’s mind. We could-LISMAN (CONT’D)
CLACK Find other representation in the meantime. Yes. LISMAN
CLACK You have anyone in mind? Yes. LISMAN
CLACK Anyone inexpensive. LISMAN The least expensive. Who? CLACK
LISMAN (beat) You’re looking at him. I am. You are. CLACK LISMAN
CLACK No, I’m not. LISMAN Problem solved! CLACK Nope. That’s still a problem. Why? LISMAN
12. CLACK Because Congressman, you’re still a Congressman. You’ve still got the business of legislation. LISMAN I don’t have any business. This is my business now. Defending myself so I can have real business again is my business. CLACK The best thing we can do, the best thing you can do, is to let that be somebody else’s business. LISMAN My career. My life. Your career. Your life? Do you want to put that in anyone else’s hand? Honestly? CLACK (beat) Depends. Which hand? LISMAN What do you mean? CLACK I’m just saying. It better not be the same one you jerk off with. LISMAN No. It’s the same one I take the Ciallis with. CLACK and LISMAN laugh, then -CLACK You better know what you’re doin’. LISMAN I don’t. But that’s never stopped me before. INT. WAHR DINING ROOM - NIGHT Saul’s with LAURA WAHR, his wife since they were in law school. Instantly likeable, her loose confident air is a definite compliment to what we’ve known of Saul so far. They’re eating dinner with their daughter KARI, who’s six, and a half years old. Were they? LAURA
13. SAUL LAURA
SAUL There was no pot. KARI Like a cooking pot? LAURA shoots a look at SAUL. Yes. SAUL
LAURA Honey it’s-SAUL A cooking pot. SAUL shoots a look back. KARI What were they cooking? SAUL A stupid idea. LAURA Not such a stupid idea. KARI Ms. Fanshaw says there’s no such thing as a stupid idea. SAUL (to KARI) Ms. Fanshaw meant there’s no such thing as a stupid question. There’s a difference. (still to KARI, but more to Laura) Believe me it was a stupid idea. Like what? KARI
LAURA Like why does Daddy not want to go after something that could make him money? That’s not a stupid question.
14. SAUL The idea that representing Congressman Lisman is so corrupt it borders on sociopathy makes it a stupid idea. KARI What’s sociopatty? LAURA (to SAUL) Should I take this one? Please. SAUL
LAURA It’s somebody who doesn’t function in regular society. Like somebody who has a business and tells people that he wants to make money off his business, but only wants to make money from certain people -SAUL People who want to do the right thing for instance. KARI Sociopathys want to do the right thing? LAURA SAUL
SAUL Honey could we go into the kitchen before we screw our daughter up for life? INT. WAHR KITCHEN - NIGHT SAUL and LAURA are scooping up ice cream for dessert. SAUL Seeking out a client, whom I don’t have any chance in getting-No chance? No. LAURA SAUL
LAURA Does he have legal representation?
15. SAUL Not anymore. LAURA He needs legal representation, doesn’t he? SAUL I should think so. LAURA Please think so, it makes my point a lot easier to make. SAUL That’ll make it easier. You know what’ll make it more difficult? LAURA Try it. It’s a pretty good point. SAUL The resources to try a case before Congress. We don’t have them. You don’t? No! LAURA SAUL
LAURA You have two fetuses who graduated from Harvard three minutes ago without wives, without jobs -SAUL Without husbands. LAURA You have two girls? SAUL No. Just one. Oh. LAURA
SAUL Back to your point. LAURA Yes. They’re willing and eager and--
16. SAUL In front of Congress!? LAURA Yes. That’s who’s trying the Congressman isn’t it? SAUL Yes, but, they don’t have the experience for this. I don’t have the experience for this. LAURA What better way to get some. SAUL What -(beat) You don’t know how absurd you’re sounding sweetheart. LAURA I’m the one who’s sounding-Yes. SAUL
LAURA You’re patently dismissing any chance of your firm from getting revenue it desperately needs, from getting a paycheck you desperately need, a paycheck we desperately need. SAUL (beat) I wouldn’t say any chance. Saul-LAURA
SAUL But, it is an option that deserves exploration. LAURA Is that ‘lawyer’ for yes? SAUL That was ‘politician’ for yes. If I was still speaking ‘lawyer’ I would have just lied. SAUL takes LAURA’S hand, which makes LAURA smile.
17. CHARLENE (V.O.) Congressman Lisman’s office. EXT. THE CAPITOL BUILDING - MORNING Establishing a pristine new day while we hear -CHARLENE (V.O.) Congressman Lisman’s office? INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS CHARLENE, Texas A&M, Alpha Delta Chi, the most efficient Maxim cover-girl slash office receptionist you’ve ever met. She’s about to hang up before she hears -INTERCUT WITH: INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - SAUL’S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS SAUL’S on the phone. SAUL Yes, I’m Saul Wahr with Wahr and Associates, I’d like to know if the Congressman would be available for a meeting? Who? CHARLENE
INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - (LATER THAT) MORNING LISMAN and CLACK are in a rush. CHARLENE’S at the door. LISMAN I don’t know who that is. CHARLENE goes. Saul Wahr? CLACK
LISMAN Do you know? CLACK Sounds familiar. LISMAN Familiar enough for me to meet with him?
(To CHARLENE) Charlene! LISMAN I thought it was supposed to be you by the way. CLACK The deposition? Yeah. LISMAN
CLACK It wasn’t me, it’s supposed to be you. LISMAN In fifteen minutes? CLACK Ten minutes. CHARLENE comes back in. Yeah. CHARLENE
CLACK Find out who exactly Mr. Wahr is. LISMAN and CLACK leave, entering -INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - OUTER OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Will do. CHARLENE
CLACK Shouldn’t you be prepped? For what? LISMAN
CLACK The deposition you’re about to have in ten minutes. LISMAN I already have. I’m my own council remember.
LISMAN You know the part where they tell you to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you -something. God. CLACK
LISMAN Yes. I’ll just do that. You will? CLACK
LISMAN So help me God. LISMAN leaves. EXT. THE HART BUILDING - DAY Establishing, where we hear the sound of LISMAN (V.O.) Who doesn’t? INT. DEPOSITION ROOM - DAY LISMAN’S seated as the center of attention of everyone in here, which includes a motley assortment of LAWYERS at the table across from him, while LISMAN sits alone at his side. A COURT REPORTER, who’s name is NANCY MOSS, is off to the side, but close enough to get every word. PETER FANICELLI, another lawyer, who’s got quite a bit of weight. FANICELLI Mrs. Caulfield is being polite. LISMAN Mrs. -- I would have thought a Ms. ALLISON CAULFIELD is the lawyer questioning him now. CAULFIELD Congressman, we are attempting to bring this room to order.
20. LISMAN Are we at trial yet? This isn’t a trial yet? FANICELLI This is a deposition. Nancy could you read off the part -CAULFIELD After I said -FANICELLI “Because you were placed under oath.” Yes. CAULFIELD
LISMAN I remember. CAULFIELD You remember what? LISMAN Being placed under oath. You do? CAULFIELD
LISMAN Which is why I’m telling the whole truth. I’m sure. CAULFIELD
LISMAN So help me God. We’re waiting for NANCY while -LISMAN (CONT’D) (forgot) Why are we waiting again? NANCY Mrs. Caulfield, “because you were placed oath, your testimony here today has the same force and effect as if you were testifying before the committee in a courtroom. Do you understand?” Congressman Lisman, “I do.” This Committee has been granted authorization pursuant to House Resolution --
21. FANICELLI You can stop there, Ms. Moss. LISMAN (looking at NANCY) Now, I know why she’s still a Ms. FANICELLI Congressman, are you familiar with 18 U S C One Five Zero Five, Obstruction of Proceedings Before Departments Agencies or Committees? LISMAN Yeah, I’m getting tried for that one. FANICELLI No, not yet, surprisingly, Congressman. As you are choosing to proceed without council and seem very much to proceed on hitting on as well as disrespecting the House court reporter, you might also be interested in 2 U S C One Ninety Two, Contempt of Congress. LISMAN I don’t have contempt toward Congress. I love Congress. It makes me hard -- to have contempt. FANICELLI Then please help us Congressman to confine the scope of the inquiry to a scope which many of this room and yourself will more than agree is already a very expansive inquiry. LISMAN Just a word of advice Mr. Faticelli. Fanicelli. FANICELLI
LISMAN Right. You’d probably lose a some weight if you kept the length of your sentences down just a little bit. Not like I’m one to keep the length of things down. As LISMAN eyes CAULFIELD. Off CAULFIELD, nonplused.
22. INT. MAC NALLEY’S OFFICE - DAY MAC NALLEY, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, is not in a good mood. He’s got CLACK in his office. MAC NALLEY Contempt of Congress? CLACK Mr. Leader-MAC NALLEY I wasn’t aware that one of the goals of a deposition was to leave with more charges than when you left it. CLACK Neither was I. MAC NALLEY Maybe Congressman Lisman was left out of the loop. CLACK It’s nothing he can’t take care of. MAC NALLEY He called one of the prosecutors fat? CLACK Apparently. MAC NALLEY But you’re not certain? CLACK I wasn’t, but I’m sure-MAC NALLEY Of what? That he called them fat, hit on the other prosecutor, slandered the court reporter, and this is from five random pages from the transcript. CLACK Mr. Leader, I’m not certain of what you are asking me to do? MAC NALLEY You aren’t? No. CLACK
23. MAC NALLEY I wouldn’t be doing my job right if you didn’t leave my office certain. We have more seats in contention, in races that don’t need to be in contention right now without the help of being in the same party as somebody with what we could only hope committed but a few isolated incidents of corruption. He’s-CLACK
MAC NALLEY Please let me finish Mr. Clack. Incidents such as these don’t exactly help in keeping him off the voter’s radar and on the issues where they belong. They don’t help in making Republicans competitive where they haven’t been competitive since the Hoover Administration. Are you still uncertain of what has to be done? (beat) I am sir. CLACK
MAC NALLEY You are, as in certain? CLACK I am, as in uncertain. MAC NALLEY Get him a lawyer! Get him six lawyers! I don’t care if you hire the graduating class of Yale Law School. He didn’t get a speeding ticket, of which he probably has several. He’s being charged with thirteen ethics violations. He’s in over his head, and it’s only been over it for what -- a few hours? CLACK Half a day sir. MAC NALLEY My point exactly. If you can’t get that done. I’ll be sure to get him a Chief of Staff who can. (beat) You’re done here.
MAC NALLEY In my office. You’re not done with Congressman Lisman. -- Are you? No! Then Go. CLACK MAC NALLEY
CLACK I’m going sir. Thank you sir. MAC NALLEY No need to thank me. CLACK goes. INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - DAY LISMAN’s shakes hands with SAUL. CLACK’s right behind him. LISMAN Walter Lisman. You can call me Congressman. SAUL Of course sir. I mean Congressman. Seats taken. LISMAN I have to apologize Mr War. Wahr. SAUL
LISMAN Mr. Wahr. There must have been a scheduling error. There was? CLACK
LISMAN (to CLACK) He’s from the Jewish Defense Council isn’t he? No. SAUL
25. LISMAN You’re not? No. CLACK
LISMAN I’m just saying. You look very Jewish. Thank you. SAUL
CLACK I’ve brought him in for legal -counselling. LISMAN To assist with my case? SAUL For your representation in your case. LISMAN That won’t be necessary. It won’t? No. SAUL LISMAN
SAUL I’m sorry Congressman, but is it true that in addition to the ethics violations for which you have been charged, you have also been charged with contempt of Congress? LISMAN What’s your point? SAUL My point is that -- Do you have legal representation? LISMAN I’m my own legal representative. SAUL So, that’s a yes? Yes. LISMAN
26. SAUL Then, I think you might need some assistance. From who? LISMAN
SAUL From myself. You? Yes. LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN What do you charge? SAUL That can be discussed. LISMAN Discuss it now. SAUL That would be dependent on the nature of-LISMAN See, I’m going to stop you there. You know what I charge? SAUL What do you charge yourself? Nothing. LISMAN
CLACK Congressman-SAUL Very well then. LISMAN It was very good meeting you Mr. War. CLACK Wahr. This meeting isn’t over Congressman. LISMAN stands, as does SAUL, followed by CLACK.
27. LISMAN Oh, I very much think so, don’t you Mr. Wahr? SAUL I can’t compete with the price of free. LISMAN See. He is Jewish. SAUL Thank you for your time Congressman. Mr. Wahr? CLACK
But SAUL has already found his way out. LISMAN So you don’t trust me? CLACK I trust you. You do? LISMAN
CLACK Of course I do. LISMAN So, bringing in a lawyer to do something I’m already doing is an example of your trust? CLACK It wasn’t supposed to be an example of anything. LISMAN It was an example of something -- Was it because I’m being held in contempt over a fat joke? CLACK And hitting on one of the members of opposing council. LISMAN No, I was doing just the opposite. CLACK What were you doing?
28. LISMAN I was just commenting on her marital status. CLACK You think after seven wives you’d be able to know the difference between things you should say to women and things you don’t? No. LISMAN
CLACK Mac Nalley thinks so. LISMAN Think what? CLACK Let me start over. The Minority Leader doesn’t trust you. Everyone else in Republican leadership doesn’t trust you. There are too many house races in play for them, for us. If they, and we, get plagued by the negative press from this trial, negative press that could be avoided if we had somebody who’s practiced law since the Reagan administration, guess who you think they’re going to blame? (beat) As your chief advisor, I’d advise taking any action to prevent that from happening. I have trust in you Congressman, and that trust is for you to make the best decision. (beat) I’m going to go thank Mr. Wahr for his time and apologize. CLACK goes while LISMAN thinks. INT. WAHR BEDROOM - NIGHT SAUL’S in bed, awake. LAURA’s sleeping. CLACK (V.O.) Mr. Wahr, this is Frederick Clack, Congressman Lisman’s Chief of Staff-INT. WAHR KITCHEN - NIGHT SAUL’S on his cell phone as he stares into the refrigerator.
29. CLACK --I would like to extend my deepest condolences for how the Congressman -SAUL hangs it up, tossing the phone into the fridge, closing the door, sighing. He takes a seat at his dining room table which is covered in work, cracks open his laptop. Hey. SAUL
LAURA I could have been a serial killer. SAUL If wishing made it so. Saul. LAURA
SAUL Life Insurance would cover it. LAURA Am I a beneficiary? Yeah. SAUL
LAURA I wouldn’t be if he killed me too. SAUL Who says the serial killer has to be a he? LAURA True. We’ve got our daughter off to a great start. Which gets a smile out of SAUL. LAURA (CONT’D) Get to bed. Why? To sleep. SAUL LAURA
30. SAUL I wasn’t sleeping. LAURA Being down here won’t help. SAUL You never know. LAURA You might not. But I do. Doorbell sounds. Looks at each other. INT. WAHR FOYER - NIGHT SAUL opens the door to LISMAN. SAUL Congressman. LISMAN Good morning. SAUL checks his watch. SAUL Yes. You too. Can I help you? You can. How? LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN I think you already know. SAUL Representation? Yes. Really? LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN That’s what you wanted wasn’t it? SAUL But you’re on my doorstep.
31. LISMAN Is that what this is? SAUL And -- I’m just -LISMAN Did you want me to go somewhere else? SAUL No! No, not at all. I’m just -- why did you come to me? I -LISMAN
SAUL Actually, I apologize Congressman. But how did you know where I live? LISMAN You file taxes? Yes. SAUL
LISMAN There’s no point in chairing Ways and Means if you can’t pull some strings at the IRS. SAUL It’s almost difficult to believe that anyone would ever convict you of foul play. LISMAN It is isn’t it? SAUL It is. My other question is why me? LISMAN You’re the only one who came to me. I don’t have a whole lot of time, and judging from your past case-work, and current clients, or lack thereof, you need me and I need you. (beat) Not in a gay way. SAUL That’s the way I took it.
32. LISMAN The gay way? SAUL The other way. LISMAN Just making sure. (beat) I’m not a homosexual. SAUL I didn’t think so. LISMAN So when should we start? SAUL Your representation? LISMAN Our French kiss. (off SAUL) Yes, my representation. SAUL Whenever you’d like. LISMAN How about now? (beat) SAUL
SAUL (to Laura) Honey? Yeah. LAURA (O.S.)
SAUL We’re going to need some coffee. INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - NIGHT LISMAN and SAUL are having coffee. LISMAN Not very many.
33. SAUL The charges? INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY A War Room has been set up by SAUL, MATT, and JENNIFER. As they’re talking, they hand the relevant documents to SAUL. 13 in all. MATT
SAUL That’s not many. INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS LISMAN Solicitation. Okay. SAUL
LISMAN I didn’t know she was a-SAUL But a transaction took place? INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JENNIFER Twenty-four thousand? SAUL For the hooker? JENNIFER For the unreported income. SAUL From the lobbyists? INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS LISMAN For a little plot of land I’ve got. How big? SAUL
INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS MATT Thirty thousand Acres.
34. SAUL So, the roughly size of Rhode Island. MATT If Rhode Island had a Forty thousand Square Foot Ranchhouse. SAUL Is this the one he left off his tax returns? INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS LISMAN No, that’s the time-share in Puerto Vallarta. I didn’t leave it off -INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JENNIFER He just didn’t bother to report how much he made from selling it. SAUL Which brings us to my favorite. MATT Insider trading? SAUL My other favorite. JENNIFER Soliciting lobbyists for -Bingo. SAUL
INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS LISMAN Not just lobbyists. No? SAUL
LISMAN No. Other foundations. INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS MATT Verizon Foundation.
35. JENNIFER Ford Foundation. MATT The Starr Foundation. JENNIFER MetLife Foundation. INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS SAUL This is for. LISMAN For my foundation. INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS MATT To name a building after him. JENNIFER It’s not a building. MATT It’s going to be in a building. JENNIFER It’s for his foundation. Which is? MATT
JENNIFER The Walter Lisman foundation. SAUL To do what exactly? INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS LISMAN Does it matter? SAUL I should think so. LISMAN That’s not the part that matters. Okay. SAUL
36. LISMAN What matters is that I didn’t do it the way Congress would have liked me to. INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS SAUL What way was that? MATT Using Congressional Stationary to solicit funds for it. JENNIFER And earmarking Congressional Appropriations. SAUL For a foundation whose purpose is still completely unknown to me. JENNIFER For his legacy. MATT A legacy in corruption. SAUL Not if we can help it. And we will help it. INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - MORNING - CONTINUOUS Morning light bathes SAUL and LISMAN. We will. How? LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN You don’t believe it? I do. SAUL
LISMAN But you just said-SAUL Inasmuch as -- it would be one thing if it was just a couple charges. (MORE)
37. SAUL (CONT'D) But it’s not one thing. And it’s definitely more than just a couple of charges. So. LISMAN
SAUL It’s thirteen charges. There isn’t anything else I’m leaving out? No. LISMAN
SAUL Nothing else that Congress may have left out? Left out? LISMAN
SAUL Or didn’t know? LISMAN (thinks, then --)
SAUL Okay, then. Back to before. Your expectations. Yes. LISMAN
SAUL They’re -- lofty. They are. LISMAN
SAUL Meeting them, will be an accomplishment, to say the least. LISMAN Then don’t say the least. SAUL What should I say? LISMAN Say the most.
38. SAUL It’s not as simple as that. LISMAN You want simple? SAUL I don’t, no. I do. LISMAN
SAUL I never would have guessed. LISMAN Then you haven’t known me for very long. SAUL This is true. Now, no fines or jail time, no censure and most of all, not being expelled from Congress? LISMAN Complete exoneration. SAUL Yes. -- About that. The most we can hope for -Is that. LISMAN
SAUL No, the most-LISMAN That wasn’t a question. SAUL I didn’t think it was a question. LISMAN But you said no. SAUL I said no because -LISMAN You don’t get to say no. I get to say no. And the only thing I’m going to say is “yes.”
(beat) Okay then.
LISMAN It’s what she says. Who says? SAUL
LISMAN You’re wife. SAUL Which part? LISMAN The yes part. When? SAUL
LISMAN Before I came. Or I should say -- before she came. Off SAUL. INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT SAUL is looking at the collection of documents spanning his end of the conference room table. MATT comes in, ruffles through some of them. SAUL Looking for something? MATT Of Lisman’s -(found it) There we go. SAUL Could you make a copy when you’re done? MATT And give it back to you? Yes. No prob. SAUL MATT
MATT leaves. SAUL gets back to work. JENNIFER comes in. Yeah. I’m sorry. SAUL (CONT’D) JENNIFER
SAUL You know those magic machines that make copies of things? Yeah. JENNIFER
SAUL We have one. SAUL goes through the files on his side. SAUL (CONT’D) The whole thing? JENNIFER Just some of it. SAUL hands the file to her as MATT comes in. JENNIFER tears through the file, putting parts of it everywhere near SAUL’s things. SAUL You’re back. MATT Just had to give you the copy back. SAUL This is the insider trading -MATT Account records for the day after. SAUL The trade -- Jen? Hm? JENNIFER
SAUL Could you -(re: the parts of the file) (MORE)
41. SAUL (CONT'D) That file’s getting mixed in with my things and I’m-JENNIFER I’d apologize but -SAUL You already have. I know. JENNIFER
SAUL (to MATT) Account records for the day after the trade itself? Yeah. Can I-Yeah. JEFF SAUL JEFF
SAUL takes the file, looks it over, looks at his desk -Jen. Yes. SAUL JENNIFER
SAUL You left something over-JENNIFER Let me get that. Then SAUL double takes at what JENNIFER just took. Hold on. What? SAUL JENNIFER
SAUL Hold -- could I see that. JENNIFER But I thought you--
42. SAUL I wasn’t thinking. JENNIFER hands it to SAUL. SAUL (CONT’D) (thinking)
SAUL takes the papers, flipping between them and the file he got from MATT. SAUL (CONT’D) (to JENNIFER) I’m sorry. INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - DAY SAUL’s meeting with LISMAN and CLACK. LISMAN You’re going to have to be more specific than that. SAUL Ultimate National Resources. LISMAN The windmill people? Yeah. CLACK
LISMAN What about them? SAUL In addition to purchasing their stock, you also did so knowing that they would be receiving a subsidy as a result of an earmark you negotiated. CLACK They’re one of our biggest contributors. LISMAN Who says money can’t buy Democracy? SAUL Nobody in this room I’m sure. I would. LISMAN
43. SAUL I know you -Moving on. CLACK
SAUL Thank you. You didn’t schedule the trade until-LISMAN The rest of the world knew. CLACK When the rest of the world would know. SAUL Which was when the bill would have been voted on. LISMAN And nobody would have cared. CLACK It was my idea to postpone the trade. LISMAN Such a great idea. SAUL Even though he doesn’t have to be punished for it. LISMAN What are you saying? SAUL I’m saying that you couldn’t have known that the bill to which the subsidy was earmarked was going to be filibustered. LISMAN I couldn’t? CLACK You couldn’t. LISMAN Why couldn’t I? CLACK Because when you and your lady friend were going to celebrate the spirit of bipartisanship--
44. SAUL That’s when the filibuster took place. LISMAN And that was when I was arrested. SAUL And you couldn’t possibly postpone the time of the trade. LISMAN I couldn’t. SAUL This is what we’d like to argue. This? Yes. LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN Do you have something better? SAUL We’re working to find something better, but given what we’ve got to work with this is going to have to work for the time being. CLACK Is there a problem Congressman? Yes. LISMAN
SAUL I can assure you, that my team is working very hard to find another way for you to refute these charges, but you’ll have to admit, there are a great deal of charges and very few ways to refute them. LISMAN thinks. INT. SAUL’S OFFICE - NIGHT LISMAN’s with just SAUL now. LISMAN There’s got to be another -- angle.
LISMAN The case you’re building. SAUL To refute the case Congress is building. Yes. LISMAN
SAUL Is there a problem? Yes. What? All of it. LISMAN SAUL LISMAN
SAUL You’re going to have to be a little more specific. I can’t. Why not? LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN We’ve got opening statements in just a few days, right? Two days. SAUL
LISMAN We’re going to have to -SAUL Let’s come back to the case itself. Why? LISMAN
SAUL Because there’s something your not telling me.
46. LISMAN There are things you haven’t told me. SAUL Which things? LISMAN Like your favorite color. SAUL That isn’t -- it’s your case. LISMAN Your favorite color is my case? SAUL No, it’s -LISMAN I was about to say. SAUL It’s not relevant. Your case, my assisting you, my representation upon your behalf is incumbent on your complete disclosure. That is relevant. There is nothing that you can tell me that I will repeat to any one. Ergo there’s nothing which will have any negative consequence-LISMAN The negative consequence will be pursuing the insider trading stuff. SAUL I won’t pursuit it if you don’t tell me -LISMAN I won’t tell you and you won’t pursuit it. SAUL Tell me a reason why I shouldn’t and I won’t. But LISMAN can’t. LISMAN I have to go. Where? SAUL
LISMAN doesn’t respond, just leaves SAUL, bewildered.
47. INT. FOUR SEASONS - BAR - NIGHT LISMAN, sipping his drink. A WOMAN takes a seat next to him. After eyeing her up and down -LISMAN Are you working tonight? INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - ANTEROOM - DAY SAUL’s with JENNIFER and MATT who are doing a combination of waiting and working, because there’s not enough time to do the former without the latter. LISMAN opens the door, nothing but REPORTERS and PHOTOGRAPHERS outside. LISMAN How much longer do we got? SAUL You’re late. LISMAN Not that late. SAUL We should let them -(to MATT) Matt? Yeah. MATT
SAUL Could you-Yeah. MATT goes. LISMAN What’s he doing? SAUL He’s going to let them know we’re ready to begin. We are? LISMAN MATT
Off SAUL, not pleased.
48. SAUL Would you like me to stop him? LISMAN Stop him from what? SAUL Telling him we are ready. LISMAN Why would we do that? SAUL Because we aren’t ready. LISMAN We are ready. We are? SAUL
LISMAN I am if you are. I am. Good. So-SAUL LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN They’re young. I’m sorry. SAUL
LISMAN Your staff. SAUL They’re young. Yeah. LISMAN
SAUL They get that a lot. We do. JENNIFER
49. LISMAN I’m sure you do. SAUL I tried calling Mr. Clack to see if you prepared something. It’s the trial of your life so I’m assuming you did, which both worries and doesn’t -- well, actually, no, worries me even more at the same time. Seeing that LISMAN’s attention is still on JENNIFER. SAUL (CONT’D) I’m going to plead guilty. LISMAN You do what you’ve got to -SAUL Congressman? Yes. LISMAN
SAUL Are you listening? No. MATT comes back in. MATT They’re ready for us. INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HEARING ROOM - DAY Which reeks of incredible history. If we didn’t know any better, we’d swear that it hasn’t changed a bit since the Declaration of Independence was signed. Populating this scene are the PRESS, various other AUDIENCE members with their attention focused on the panel of CONGRESSMAN and CONGRESSWOMEN, who are chaired by the Chairman of the Ethics Committee, BEVERLY WHITINGS, a distinguished Congresswoman. JENNIFER, MATT, and CLACK, sit behind SAUL and LISMAN. SAUL’S in the middle of giving his opening statement. SAUL We understand that there are consequences to one’s actions. (MORE) LISMAN
50. SAUL (CONT'D) However, may it please the court, the Ethics Committee and the Congress of these United States, we implore you to thoughtfully consider the accounts of the Congressman in your consideration as to your judgments regarding these infractions. WHITINGS Thank you Counsellor. I speak for not only myself, but for the Committee that your case will be thoughtfully considered. Congressman Lisman, do you have a statement? I do. May we-LISMAN WHITINGS
LISMAN Hear it? Of course. Why wouldn’t you? That’s what you’ve -- that’s what everyone here’s been waiting for. I know if I were here, I’d wait for it. Oh wait, I am here, and I already did. WHITINGS Congressman, please confine your remarks to only those having -LISMAN I’ll confine myself to the case. Yeah, I’ll confine myself to that. How could I not? How could I not get lost is the better question? Audible reactions from the AUDIENCE, including inaudible ones from SAUL, will join LISMAN’S statement as we go along -LISMAN (CONT’D) But I won’t ask that. This case, our case, the case that’s been brought before me is going to make us ask a lot of questions, I’m sure. It’s already made me ask a lot of questions. For instance, how long do you have to be in Congress for you to become absolutely irrelevant -WHITINGS Congressman, the committee requests once more that --
51. LISMAN To stay relevant. WHITINGS Yes, Congressman. LISMAN But I am. That’s one of my questions actually. I’m getting it now, I get it from my lawyers -- No offense Saul -- I get it from my peers, questions as to my relevance. Speaking of my lawyers, what he just gave you is, well, it’s a good start. There were circumstances to the choices I made, and he’s going to show em’ to ya’. But what I want to show you, what I want to show this court and country is that I can still be relevant, no matter how much this committee believes otherwise. Reactions erupt from the court, WHITINGS gavels repeatedly. LISMAN covers the microphone, asking SAUL -LISMAN (CONT’D) How’s that for preparation? Off SAUL, mortified. INT. THE CAPITOL BUILDING - ANTEROOM - (LATER THAT) DAY SAUL’s with LISMAN and CLACK. SAUL Why didn’t you? LISMAN Prepare something? Yeah. I did. Which was? SAUL LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN I was prepared to say what you were going to say.
52. SAUL Interesting because you didn’t say anything I said. LISMAN I didn’t like what you said. SAUL Why didn’t you? LISMAN It made me fall asleep. Me too. CLACK
SAUL You probably didn’t have enough coffee. LISMAN I shouldn’t have needed coffee. SAUL If you had prepared a statement, a statement you could have run past me before the prosecutors, the committee, Congress, every twenty four hour news network, the country -- your constituents, you still have those, right? LISMAN Constituents? Yeah. SAUL
LISMAN Of course, but that’s the thing. SAUL What thing? LISMAN My constituents don’t trust Congress. They don’t trust big government, or any government for that matter. They’re Republicans. SAUL I wonder why. LISMAN Why they’re Republicans?
53. SAUL Why they don’t trust their government. LISMAN Something I ask myself all the time. CLACK We just don’t do it in front of constituents. SAUL They aren’t aware of your charges in any way? LISMAN In some way. CLACK So long as he’s for defending America from Bin Laden, cutting their taxes, making English the national language, defending marriage, stops flag burning, builds a wall to Mexico, allow their children to pray in schools, extending social security, fighting for the right to bear arms, while cutting the deficit, they look the other way and campaign contributions keep coming. LISMAN Stuff Jesus would do. CLACK Things like that. SAUL That’s a great message. Let’s stay on that topic. On Jesus? LISMAN
SAUL On messages. LISMAN From Jesus? No. SAUL
LISMAN Because I could have some of those.
LISMAN To help us with this case. SAUL Let’s not -- he’ll help us in other ways. LISMAN I thought you don’t believe in Him. SAUL I’m -- let’s not bring my Judaism into this. LISMAN I didn’t. You just did. SAUL No. You brought it into this, kicking and screaming. LISMAN I didn’t hear anything. CLACK Neither did I. SAUL Metaphorically kicking and -- anyway, the amount of time explaining that is vastly disproportionate to the time we should spend caring about it. What matters here is that for this client-attorney relationship to work is that we have the same message. Like you and your voters have about Jesus. Would you agree? (beat) I do. Okay. LISMAN
LISMAN and CLACK are about to go. LISMAN And that insider trading thing. SAUL What about it?
55. LISMAN I’ve got it taken care of. Thank you. SAUL
LISMAN and CLACK are gone, meeting press outside the room. Slowly SAUL realizes, rushing to the door -INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS SAUL What did you take care of? Seeing the mob of PRESS surrounding LISMAN and CLACK, heading down the hall away from him. SAUL’S phone buzzes. He looks at it, answers. Honey? SAUL (CONT’D)
INT. WAHR LIVING R00M - CONTINUOUS It’s LAURA. Hey. LAURA
INTERCUT AS NECESSARY WITH: INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - ANTEROOM - CONTINUOUS As SAUL walks back in. SAUL What’s going on? LAURA I need you to pick Kari up from school. Now? At 2:30. SAUL LAURA
SAUL Are you busy with something? LAURA Is that a no?
LAURA I’m busy with something. With what? SAUL
LAURA Will you be? SAUL Just finished with opening statements before Congress, so -- possibly. LAURA Too busy to pick up your daughter? (Yes) SAUL
SAUL But back to you. LAURA What about me? SAUL Why are you busy? LAURA I’m having an affair with the poolboy. SAUL We don’t have a pool. LAURA There’s a pool somewhere. Seriously. LAURA’S phone beeps. LAURA I have to get the other line. SAUL The poolboy? SAUL
57. LAURA I wish. I gotta go. 2:30? 2:30. Okay. Bye. Bye. SAUL LAURA SAUL
INT. SAUL’S CAR - DAY A mildly expensive Japanese car. SAUL’s driving. KARI’s in the back seat. He’s on his hands free device. SAUL Why were you talking to the press? MATT (V.O.) I was telling them to-INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS MATT and JENNIFER talk to him on speaker phone. JENNIFER We were telling them -MATT They were in the way. INTERCUT AS NECESSARY WITH: INT. SAUL’S CAR - DAY SAUL (to MATT and JENNIFER) Hold on. (to KARI) What am I supposed to tell you? KARI I’m not going to tell you. SAUL Are you imitating Mommy now? KARI What’s imitating?
58. SAUL Dad has an important phone call right now. (to MATT and JENNIFER) What were you in the way of? MATT We weren’t in the way of anything, they were in the way of-JENNIFER She’s with you? SAUL My daughter? JENNIFER She’s with him. KARI Imitatering. Oh. Oh what? MATT SAUL
JENNIFER We could call you back. MARK We should call you back. KARI What is imitatering? SAUL Why should you-What is -KARI
SAUL Hold on. (to Kari) I’ll tell you when we get home. Why? KARI
SAUL I’ll tell you when we get home.
SAUL (to MATT and JENNIFER) Just spit it out. KARI Spit what out? MATT It’s not a good time. SAUL I have a six year old daughter-KARI (spitting) Seven. SAUL --it’s never a good time. Just spit it out. KARI (spitting) I am. We were meeting Seasons members week. JENNIFER asked if we were aware of a the Congressman had at the Four with a staff member of one of the of the Ethics committee last
SAUL And you replied? JENNIFER We weren’t aware. SAUL What was wrong with no comment? MATT Were you aware that -SAUL -- it doesn’t matter. What matters is -hold on a second. (to KARI) What are you doing?
60. KARI I’m spitting. Why? SAUL
KARI You said spit it out. SAUL (to JENNIFER and MATT) I need to call you back. INT. WAHR LIVING ROOM - DAY SAUL and KARI walk in. SAUL Honey? We’re going to need a towel. With that said, from the other end of the corner we see LAURA, other PARENTS, and their CHILDREN, friends of KARI’s. All of -Surprise! THEM
KARI is elated, jumping up and down, screaming with joy, running to LAURA, who picks her up -LAURA Happy birthday Kari! SAUL, wears a happy face as we hear -A towel? LAURA (V.O.) (CONT’D)
INT. WAHR KITCHEN - DAY SAUL and LAURA are in the kitchen, putting candles on the cake while the party goes on in the background. SAUL Long story. LAURA Long like Tolstoy, or long like the dick you were being? SAUL How long were you waiting to use that line?
61. LAURA Just came up with that actually. SAUL Like the poolboy. LAURA Same place actually. SAUL Your daughter’s birthday party. Great time to shop for puns. LAURA It sure as hell was a good time to shop for a birthday gift. SAUL Good point. LAURA Which point? SAUL That I didn’t get the gifts. LAURA It is a good point. SAUL You want another point? Sure. It’s good. I’m sure. LAURA SAUL LAURA
SAUL We can afford gifts now, something that couldn’t have been said two months ago. LAURA Sure, but you want to know what’s an even better one? SAUL That you are the exceedingly better parent for orchestrating all this --
SAUL That you have the time and energy to do all this, two things of which I have neither. LAURA I think the Congressman would beg to differ. SAUL Why would you think that? LAURA Because you have all the time and the world to -I do. You do? SAUL LAURA
SAUL To his legal situation, one which -actually the several situations of which, if he didn’t have, I would no longer have a practice, we would no longer have a house, and this wonderful little scene would be taking place at your parent’s -LAURA I’m going to stop you there. Why? SAUL
LAURA Because you just said you’ve got all the world for his legal problems. You don’t. You’ve only got some of it, because all of the time in the world belongs to the seven year old in the next room who’s father didn’t now she had a birthday party today. Excuse me. LAURA takes the birthday cake, going back out into the party-LAURA (CONT’D) Who’s ready for birthday cake!?
63. Off SAUL as we -CUT TO: INT. LISMAN’S OFFICE - NIGHT SAUL’s with LISMAN and CLACK. CLACK (to LISMAN) Which meeting at the Four Seasons? LISMAN The one I didn’t take. CLACK Doesn’t narrow it down. LISMAN (to CLACK) Could you give us a minute? CLACK He doesn’t know? Know what? SAUL
LISMAN He’s going to. Know what? CLACK goes. LISMAN It was a call girl. SAUL A prostitute? LISMAN (like the song) Tomato Tomato. SAUL They both make ketchup. LISMAN I don’t know which call girls you’re calling, but you might want to keep that kind of thing to yourself. (MORE) SAUL
64. LISMAN (CONT'D) (off SAUL) What? SAUL You understand that it places me in a difficult position as your attorney to provide counsel to you while defending you from being prosecuted from actions which you are continuing to engage? LISMAN You should try stretching. I’m sorry. SAUL
LISMAN You said it put you in a difficult position. SAUL You should stop picking up prostitutes. LISMAN Look at me. SAUL (looking at him) Okay. LISMAN Do I look like somebody who can have sex without having to pay for it? SAUL just looks at him. You see? I do. Okay. LISMAN (CONT’D) SAUL LISMAN
SAUL Just not now. LISMAN Should I give you a few minutes.
65. SAUL I mean -- not now. Not during this trial. If you can avoid expulsion, then if you were going to be caught for it, then it would be something that I, if you were to retain my counsel, could assist you with. Right now, I could provide very little assistance. LISMAN (beat) So -- not now. Exactly. SAUL
INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HEARING ROOM - DAY The hearing is in full swing. FANICELLI, NANCY, and a few other familiar faces from that deposition before join us with WHITINGS. SAUL and LISMAN are where they were last time. NANCY Do you Congressman Lisman? Do I what? LISMAN
NANCY Do you believe, as your council would imply, that there is no longer grounds for implication, and subsequently, no basis for this committee to pursue actions regarding charges -LISMAN This is the insider trading thing? Yes. No. NANCY LISMAN
NANCY No, you don’t-I don’t. LISMAN
66. NANCY For the sake of the record, would you mind if I continued the question? LISMAN For the sake of the committee and the rest of the people in this room, I don’t think there’s enough coffee in the District of Columbia to sustain the attention through the rest of the question you were about to ask. Which gets a collection of reactions from everyone here. NANCY That is unfortunate. It is. LISMAN
WHITING Congressman Lisman, I’m going to have to ask you to confine your comments to the scope of the inquiry. LISMAN You mean they’re not? SAUL We understand Congresswoman. LISMAN I couldn’t possibly have committed insider trading. At least, I couldn’t have intended to do it. For that to have happened, for if I intended for it to happen, I would have executed the trade well before the act would have left the committee. SAUL May it be noted that the act Congressman Lisman is referring to is House Resolution Twenty-Eight Forty Seven, the Clean Energy Research and Investment Act. WHITINGS However Congressman, the trade still took place? It did. LISMAN
67. WHITINGS I’m having trouble understanding, rather I think the committee is having trouble understanding, how your inability to cancel the trade you made ahead of time so as to avoid the appearance of insider trading renders it impossible to charge you for insider trading. You still possessed privileged information, the trade still took place and at a value remarkably less than the value of the stock after the fact. LISMAN Because I was arrested. WHITING For solicitation? LISMAN Exactly. Otherwise I would have bought the stock in the company fair and square just like everyone else. WHITINGS Which I am sure myself and the committee would have no difficulty in doubting. Which gets some laughs from everyone except SAUL and LISMAN. WHITINGS (CONT’D) I know I would also speak for the committee that a Congressman with a voting record such as yourself with issues such as the environment, governmental subsidy -SAUL Congresswoman, if I may, what relevance does Congressman Lisman’s past voting record or policy initiatives have in relation to this portion of the proceeding? WHITINGS The relevance they have, Mr. Wahr, is in relation to this particular bill. Congressman Lisman were you in support of H.R. 2847 in it’s initial iteration? May I remind you that you are under oath. LISMAN Why do I need to be reminded?
68. SAUL Again, Congresswoman, on behalf of the Congressman I would like to know what relevance this has to -WHITINGS It’s a simple question, Counsellor. No. LISMAN
WHITINGS Thank you. Not very many Republicans were. Exactly none were. SAUL Congresswoman-WHITINGS Mr. Wahr, my demonstration of relevance is predicated on the fact that Congressman Lisman did vote on this bill, it’s later iteration. Just not the one to which you earlier referred. I would ask Congressman Lisman to attest to this fact, but that wouldn’t be necessary as that exists as a fact of public record and for the sake of your client, reducing the chances for him to perjure himself would be far more advantageous than not. SAUL With all due respect Congresswoman, there is no chance that Congressman Lisman would have thus far perjured himself and we hope that the Committee will ignore any implication, assumption or prejudice otherwise. WHITINGS I’m sure it will. LISMAN (to SAUL) I wouldn’t be so sure. WHITINGS If I may continue, Councellor-You may. SAUL
69. WHITINGS I wasn’t requesting permission. Congressman, what caused you to reverse your standing with H.R. 2847? LISMAN I don’t -- I decline to answer on advice of council. You do? Yes. WHITINGS LISMAN
SAUL (to LISMAN) You do? Yeah. Why? LISMAN SAUL
WHITINGS Congressman? SAUL May I request a ten minute recess from the court? WHITINGS You may not councillor. Congressman, do you know which amendments were made to the bill? SAUL Congresswoman-WHITINGS I am addressing the Congressman. SAUL Whom I represent. Few legislators as seasoned as the Congressman would be able to remember details as unimportant as the amme--
70. WHITINGS Council, I know you and I would agree that amendments such as those he negotiated to create a bipartisan effort toward passing this bill, an effort leading to an amendment to include subsidizing a set of companies which would not have otherwise been subsidized. An amendment to include companies demonstrating intentions and budgets toward pursuing Green Initiatives and Investments, among such companies includes the stock in the company in question, which hopefully councillor, answers your question regarding relevance. SAUL As much as it demonstrates a relationship to the matter being discussed before, my client has responded, and given his account of the wrongdoing in question. WHITINGS There is more wrongdoing which deserve address, contingent to this matter. Which is? SAUL
WHITINGS Which is that this company not only contributed to the Congressman’s most recent reelection campaign, but did so while subverting campaign donation regulations. SAUL (to LISMAN) Is this true? WHITINGS Congressman, what say you to this charge? SAUL May we request a recess Congresswoman!? WHITINGS You have exceeded the allotment of recesses available Counsellor. Your request is again, denied.
71. SAUL (to LISMAN) What is she talking about? LISMAN I’ll have to plead-SAUL Congressman. LISMAN I plead the fifth amendment. Reactions resound throughout as SAUL looks infuriatingly at LISMAN, who sits, resigned. INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - ANTEROOM - DAY SAUL’s with LISMAN. SAUL Anything else? LISMAN (a beat) I can’t remember. SAUL How about the fact, that it would be in your best interest, from here, through the rest of this trial if you actually told the truth? I am. LISMAN
SAUL You are not. I did. LISMAN
SAUL No, you didn’t. When? LISMAN
SAUL When you told me -- I asked you -- when you told me that there wasn’t anything else.
72. LISMAN There wasn’t-And your-SAUL
LISMAN Just the -SAUL Donor records? Yeah. LISMAN
SAUL That was what I-LISMAN It wasn’t necessary then. It wasn’t? SAUL
LISMAN I just told you -SAUL Because it’s incredibly necessary now as was the fifth amendment, which any lawyer worth their salt would not exactly let their client plead. LISMAN And you’re such a great lawyer. Excuse me. SAUL
LISMAN You’re excused. From what? SAUL
LISMAN No, wait, I can’t possibly excuse something as embarrassing and humiliating as this pathetic exercise you refer to as being my lawyer. This -- this obsession with truth, and justice, and the right thing --
LISMAN That’s right. SAUL You’re referring to this as right? LISMAN Yes. I am referring to what I just said as being right. I am right. You are wrong. You believe this case can be built on honesty, and compassion, and whatever it is that damn crap was that you opened with. SAUL Did you mean ethics? I’m not sure if they told you this on Fox News, but you are being tried before an Ethics Committee! I just wanted to make sure that we were on the same page. LISMAN We are on the same page. On the page of getting me the hell out of trouble and back to my damn career! SAUL I don’t think that page exists at this point Congressman. And neither does my counsel. (beat) Good Luck Congressman. I cannot imagine there’s anything else of which you would have a more dire need. SAUL leaves. LISMAN remains. INT. WAHR BEDROOM - NIGHT LAURA walks in, SAUL’s behind her. SAUL Not until-LAURA You find another client? Yes. SAUL
74. LAURA This -- this sounds familiar. LAURA makes her way into the closet. During the following LAURA’s going to be coming in and out with some of SAUL’s clothes in her hand. It does. SAUL
LAURA It shouldn’t, though. Do you know why? Why? SAUL
LAURA stands with a handful of socks in her hand. SAUL (CONT’D) Actually you know what a better question would be? No. LAURA
SAUL Why do you have a handful of my socks in your hand? LAURA Because you’re leaving. I am? Yes. Why? SAUL LAURA SAUL
LAURA Because it shouldn’t sound familiar. I’m sorry? Thank you. SAUL LAURA
SAUL No, I mean I’m sorry I don’t know what you mean.
75. LAURA You should be sorry. SAUL Why should I -- No. You’re my wife, there’s no possible reason why you’re going to answer any question beginning with that, so I’m going to say that’s going to be the last ‘sorry’ I’m going to say for this fifteen minute period, because the other forty three times I said it accomplished so much. LAURA Do you know why? SAUL Do I really have to ask why again? LAURA Because you dropped a client, yet again -Yet again? SAUL
LAURA Let me finish. SAUL Let me correct you first. I’ve never dropped a client. LAURA But you have been dropped. I have. SAUL
LAURA Which was fine, because they were for good reasons. You are morally superior, they cannot possibly act in accordance moral principals that would make Mother Theresa balk. SAUL Morally superior? LAURA Isn’t that why you dropped Lisman?
76. SAUL Politicians who believe mentally retarded rape victims shouldn’t have abortions are morally superior to Lisman. SAUL looks down, realizing LAURA’S clothes are topping the pile. SAUL (CONT’D) That’s your camisole. LAURA You’re not going anywhere after all. I’m not? SAUL
LAURA No. Kari and I are going to my parents. You can’t afford a hotel because your liberalism costs more than your family’s well being. INT. SAUL’S BEDROOM - NIGHT SAUL watches LAURA’S car leave from his window. INT. SAUL’S OFFICE - DAY SAUL’s at his desk. Motionless. He hear something in the other room, sounds of voices, happy voices, disturbing him. He gets up. INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY DANVILLE is with MATT and JENNIFER, silence when SAUL comes in. SAUL What are you doing here? INT. SAUL’S OFFICE - DAY SAUL’S with DANVILLE. SAUL Do I need to ask again? DANVILLE There’s something you need to know. SAUL About what?
77. DANVILLE About your case. SAUL It’s not my case anymore. It’s not? It’s not. DANVILLE SAUL
DANVILLE Wasn’t it the only case you had? It was. SAUL
DANVILLE I’m just asking because -SAUL What is it that I needed to know so badly that you came back to the firm you left no more than two months ago? DANVILLE Yesterday’s questioning. Congressman Lisman -SAUL What does that have to do with -DANVILLE It has to do with this because this is what you need to know. Actually, hold on, do you know why he came to you? SAUL He came to me to be his lawyer. DANVILLE Yes. You know for what other reason? SAUL For therapy. DANVILLE (laughs) That’s good. SAUL It really wasn’t actually.
78. DANVILLE Well, he came to you because he thought he was coming to me. He did? Yes. SAUL DANVILLE
SAUL Why did he think he was coming -- no. Better question, why did he care about you at all? DANVILLE Because the last time you were dropped by a client -SAUL We were dropped by a client. DANVILLE The last time we were dropped by a client, I found a way to tie up loose ends until we were able to find something more substantial. I did some work for the Congressman his attorneys couldn’t provide at the time. SAUL Couldn’t or wouldn’t? DANVILLE Wouldn’t would be a better way to describe it. SAUL To describe what? DANVILLE just looks at him. SAUL (CONT’D) To describe what? And SAUL thinks about it. -- and he fucking snaps, throwing his fits on his desk. INT. WAHR & ASSOCIATES - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY JENNIFER and MATT startle, having just heard the table.
79. INT. SAUL’S OFFICE - DAY We’re still with SAUL and DANVILLE. SAUL Do you have any idea-I do. DANVILLE
SAUL Who else knows about this? Nobody. DANVILLE
SAUL I’m serious! Who else knows about this. As am I. DANVILLE
SAUL Not serious enough. Did we have to have this meeting in my office? Did we -- Did you have to see Matt and Jennifer? DANVILLE If I asked to see you, you never would have accepted and you would have found out -- trust me -- you would have found out in a very different way. SAUL You’re asking me to trust you? DANVILLE You did for five years. SAUL Yes, and prior to this conversation I would have. The problem with my trusting you now is that I know that you falsified entities to subvert federal campaign finance law to get that son of a bitch elected! DANVILLE If that son of a bitch hadn’t approached my client-SAUL Your client?
SAUL Who’s your client? INT. FOUR SEASONS - BAR LISMAN’s at the bar. LISMAN Congresswoman Whitings. He’s talking to a BARTENDER. BARTENDER That’s her name? LISMAN Yeah. Tell her it’s from me. ON BLACK: The following words will appear ONE MONTH AGO Then disappear, before we CUT TO: INT. FOUR SEASONS - BAR BARTENDER Congresswoman Whitings. WHITINGS at the other end of the bar. Yes. WHITINGS
WAITER This is from the Gentleman at the bar. He’s referring to LISMAN. He gets up, she motions for him to stay. He does, like a dog. Sipping his drink. WHITING arrives. This should begin to look familiar, in case it hadn’t already. If it hasn’t, this should ring our bell: LISMAN Are you working tonight? On what? WHITINGS
81. LISMAN WHITINGS LISMAN
Me? I’m not-Good.
WHITINGS You don’t even know what the end of that sentence was. LISMAN Do I need to? WHITINGS There’s a reporter in here. LISMAN How do you know? WHITINGS Because I’m in here. LISMAN And people say I’ve got ego. WHITINGS They say it because you do. I’m saying it right now because it’s true. And there are about five more outside. LISMAN How do you know that? WHITINGS I don’t I’m just guessing. Why? LISMAN
WHITINGS Because approaching me right now, buying a drink for me right now, these are not things an intelligent person, a person preparing to face charges by my committee would be doing right now. LISMAN I get that all the time. You do? WHITINGS
82. LISMAN About me not being intelligent. I wasn’t listening after that. WHITINGS prepares to go. Wait. For what? LISMAN (CONT’D) WHITINGS
LISMAN We need to talk. WHITINGS We just did. LISMAN Not enough. WHITINGS I thought it was. LISMAN We didn’t even talk about the case. WHITINGS Which takes us far past the point of enough. LISMAN Congresswoman! DANVILLE comes over. DANVILLE Is everything alright? LISMAN (beat) He’s awful young for you. WHITINGS He’s my lawyer. One of my lawyers anyway. He’s a new one. Just joined Kruger Crane & Calahan. We’ve met. We have. LISMAN DANVILLE
83. WHITINGS Small town. DANVILLE Just got smaller. LISMAN Not like me. WHITINGS I don’t want to begin to know what that means. (to DANVILLE) Would you talk to him? LISMAN I’m standing right here. DANVILLE About what? WHITINGS About whatever it is he wants to talk about which I will hardly doubt coincides with matters of subject would if spoken with me-DANVILLE Would result in jail time. WHITINGS And countless fines. DANVILLE I’ll take care of it. Thank you. WHITINGS goes. LISMAN Congresswoman? DANVILLE Congressman. LISMAN Congresswoman! She’s gone. WHITINGS
84. DANVILLE Anything you have to speak to her about you can with me. LISMAN I thought you and I haven’t worked with each other before. DANVILLE She’s not going to know about that. LISMAN Don’t be so sure. DANVILLE I already am. LISMAN You’re her lawyer now? DANVILLE One of several. Good. Why? LISMAN DANVILLE
LISMAN Because I need to make a deal. You do? DANVILLE
LISMAN Desperately. DANVILLE Congressman, you understand that -LISMAN Of course I understand. DANVILLE I don’t think you do. LISMAN And neither do you, this is something she and I can accomplish together.
85. DANVILLE As much as that is what you believe Congressman, despite being the chair of the committee there isn’t a great deal that she can accomplish alone. LISMAN She wouldn’t need to do it alone. DANVILLE What are you suggesting? LISMAN Do I need to draw you a map? DANVILLE No. But if you’d put it into reverse for a second. How far? LISMAN
DANVILLE To her not needing to do it alone. LISMAN She doesn’t like to be alone. Who does? DANVILLE
LISMAN You’re still not getting-DANVILLE No, I’m not. LISMAN I think you’re going to need a map. I will. DANVILLE
LISMAN takes DANVILLE’S hand, holds it. DANVILLE (CONT’D) Congressman. LISMAN She doesn’t like to be alone. DANVILLE realizes as we hear --
86. SAUL (V.O.) You were the prostitute. INT. SAUL’S OFFICE - DAY What? DANVILLE
SAUL You were -- nothing. DANVILLE You understand what you have to do? SAUL (thinking, --then) DANVILLE
SAUL No. I mean, yes -- No, I don’t know. DANVILLE You sound like him. SAUL If only I can make it stop. You can. I can? DANVILLE SAUL
DANVILLE I don’t mean sounding like him. But you know, the other problem. SAUL Which other problem? Problems. Yah. How? DANVILLE SAUL
DANVILLE How opposed are you to convincing him to let him take you on as council again?
87. SAUL Vehemently. DANVILLE Well, that’s something you’re going to have get over. SAUL Depends. Do you have a space shuttle? No. DANVILLE
SAUL Then I don’t think there’s a good chance of me getting over it. DANVILLE What about the chance, or not chance so much as it is an eventuality that the Congressman racks up another set of Ethics charges, jail time, fine and fees, and the Congresswoman -SAUL That’s them. Yes. DANVILLE
SAUL People who’ve already got reservations in Hell. DANVILLE Guess who made them? SAUL I don’t have to guess. DANVILLE Then don’t guess. Just know that by defending them, that by providing counsel, and that by having any association with either of them whatsoever will not only jeopardize but completely eradicate any possibility of maintaining any standing much less a good one with the American Bar Association, to say nothing of the only way we have been able to provide for ourselves, our wives, and our children. (MORE)
88. DANVILLE (CONT'D) We will be the most overqualified baristas this side of K-Street and even then, I don’t think Starbucks hires convicted felons. SAUL I thought this would go without saying, but apparently it does. You were the one who doctored donation records! DANVILLE We doctored -SAUL No we didn’t. DANVILLE The resources of the firm were -- You know how this would go in court -- the resources of this firm were employed-SAUL Something tells me we’re not talking about post it-notes. Saul-DANVILLE
SAUL We’re talking about associates!? Associate. DANVILLE
SAUL Oh, you are -Saul-Jennifer? Matt. DANVILLE SAUL DANVILLE
SAUL Get the hell out of my office! DANVILLE I deserve that.
89. SAUL Damn right you do! (screaming) Matt, Jennifer!? (to DANVILLE) What are you still doing here? DANVILLE goes, passing MATT running in here with JENNIFER. Yeah? MATT
SAUL You’re fired. I’m what? MATT
SAUL Jennifer. First I want you to get us meeting with Congressman Lisman, if not him, his Chief of Staff. Second -MATT I have a contract. SAUL I was just getting to that. Second, I would like you to draft a complaint pursuant to Matthew Weller’s breach of contract, as well as get to get in touch with the District Attorney -MATT You’re suing me!? Yes. For what? SAUL MATT
SAUL For being complicit in actions which, in addition to bringing discredit and -MATT What about Danville? SAUL What about him? MATT He was the one who manufactured the --
90. SAUL And you helped him? MATT I needed the cash. SAUL So, in addition to that being a yes, the compensation received as a result of these legal services was neither reported nor received by the firm. You know where I’m getting all this right? No. MATT
SAUL (to JENNIFER) Do you? JENNIFER His contract. MATT’S reeling. MATT I will countersue the hell out of you, and this pathetic heap of you shit you so charitably refer to as a law practice. SAUL No, you won’t. I won’t? No. Why? MATT SAUL MATT
SAUL Because in addition to an ethical breach so actionable as to place this firm into jeopardy, you will also receive the best God damn letter of recommendation, and severance package this firm can afford if you don’t say a God damn word to a God damn soul! You got that? MATT doesn’t know what to think.
SAUL Good. Now, get your crap out of my office by the time I finish this sentence. MATT’s gone. SAUL (CONT’D) (to Jennifer) That second thing? Yeah. JENNIFER
SAUL Scratch that. Write that letter of recommendation. Done. JENNIFER
SAUL And the first thing? JENNIFER The meeting with the Congressman? Yeah. SAUL
JENNIFER What about it? SAUL I’ll do it. We need to stop him from the telling the truth. INT. LISMAN’S OFFICE - DAY The words “closing statement” are written on a legal pad in front of LISMAN. The rest of it’s blank. CHARLENE comes in. Yeah. LISMAN
CHARLENE He’s calling-Again? LISMAN
LISMAN Men call you all the time don’t they? CHARLENE Of course sir, I answer the phone for you. LISMAN I mean, when you’re not in here. CHARLENE That’s why we have voicemail. LISMAN I mean. They call you. CHARLENE (laughs, realizing) Oh, of course. Some of them are the same people who usually call for you. LISMAN When men you don’t want calling you call you, what do you do? CHARLENE Like Mr. Wahr? LISMAN He’s been calling you? CHARLENE No, but he’s been calling you. LISMAN Yes, and that’s a problem. CHARLENE Isn’t he your lawyer? LISMAN Was my lawyer. CHARLENE (pause) I didn’t know. LISMAN And neither does Clack.
93. CHARLENE Isn’t he supposed to? Probably. Should I-No. Really? Really. LISMAN CHARLENE LISMAN CHARLENE LISMAN
CHARLENE He’s my boss though. LISMAN And I’m his boss. CHARLENE What was wrong with Mr. Wahr? Nothing. LISMAN
CHARLENE Nothing is why you let go of him? LISMAN You wouldn’t understand. CHARLENE Due respect Congressman, I double majored in Communications and English, I might understand. LISMAN What if I wasn’t speaking English? CHARLENE Congressman-LISMAN Or wasn’t communicating at all? CHARLENE You’re barely communicating enough as it is. (MORE)
94. CHARLENE (CONT'D) And as for English, you wouldn’t be sponsoring a bill for English as the national language if you didn’t conduct government business using it. LISMAN That is true. I wouldn’t be standing with my convictions. (beat) After all this, I’m not even sure what my my convictions are anymore. CHARLENE Don’t be silly. LISMAN I’m not being silly. I’m being serious. CHARLENE Then stop being serious. LISMAN And be silly? CHARLENE Don’t be that either. LISMAN What should I be? Hold on. Why? CHARLENE LISMAN
CHARLENE Just hold on. She turns on the TV. LISMAN What’s on there? CHARLENE You’ll see. LISMAN I want to see now. You will. CHARLENE
95. We notice that she’s flipping through some menus on a Tivo. She pulls up a recording on CSPAN of a scene that’s looking familiar to us, and to LISMAN. LISMAN Why are you putting this on? CHARLENE To help you. LISMAN Help me what? CHARLENE Remember your convictions. LISMAN I don’t have any trouble remembering those. CHARLENE I thought you said-LISMAN I remember what I’m being convicted of. Not those. Then what? CHARLENE LISMAN
CHARLENE The things you believe in. CHARLENE hits the play button. SAUL’S on TV. Oops. CHARLENE (CONT’D)
LISMAN Fast forward, we’re not at me yet. CHARLENE (pressing the button) I’m trying. LISMAN Try harder. CHARLENE It’s out of battery.
96. LISMAN Get another battery. CHARLENE I have some at my desk. CHARLENE goes. LISMAN gets up, approaching the TV while -SAUL -- value of truth in this nation and it’s premium in our political culture. The committee we address, your committee should not only seek to uphold this standard, but to be the standard, and we will not only meet this standard, but clear the standard with the Congressman’s testimony. That this Congressman, as difficult as it might be for some to believe, will prove himself to be as such as every good public servant must and should be. One who stands -While we’ve been watching this, LISMAN, his finger hovering over the volume down button has stayed above it, moving away from it, his hand retreating as he returns to his desk, getting back to his note pad, scribbling down his thoughts. CHARLENE comes in, replacing the batteries in the remote. CHARLENE Here we go. Don’t. LISMAN
CHARLENE I thought you said-LISMAN I did, but I’m saying don’t now. Don’t-I won’t. CHARLENE
LISMAN Tell Mr. Wahr, I’ll call him back. You will? CHARLENE
LISMAN Yes. After the trial.
97. INT. SAUL’S OFFICE - DAY SAUL’s with JENNIFER. SAUL After the trial? Yeah. JENNIFER
SAUL Was he trying to be funny? JENNIFER Knowing him -He was. SAUL gets up. JENNIFER Where are you going? SAUL To stop him. INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - OUTER OFFICE - DAY SAUL’s with CHARLENE. CHARLENE The Congressman isn’t-SAUL I know that. He’s testifying. CHARLENE Shortly. Would you like to see Mr. Clack? SAUL He’s still here? INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - CLACK’S OFFICE - DAY CLACK is getting ready to go, while SAUL and CHARLENE come in. Mr. Clack. Mr. Wahr! SAUL CLACK SAUL
98. CHARLENE Just let me know if you two gentleman need anything. CLACK Long time no see. SAUL Are you going to-CLACK Yes, I am. Why aren’t you there? Has it been rescheduled? No. SAUL
CLACK Why are you looking like that? Like what? SAUL
CLACK Like somebody just died. (thinking) Did Walter... SAUL Didn’t he tell you? CLACK (welling up) How could he have? SAUL (beat) I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing. CLACK What else could we be talking about? SAUL What do you think we’re talking about? CLACK About Walter. SAUL More specifically?
99. CLACK (approaching tears) He’s dead. Isn’t that what you’re -No. It’s not? SAUL CLACK
SAUL No. Not yet. CLACK Is somebody going to kill him? SAUL Nobody’s -- no. Let’s start over. Over? Yes. How? CLACK SAUL CLACK
SAUL The Congressman didn’t tell you? CLACK Why do you keep asking me that!? SAUL I keep asking because I just want to make sure. Of what? CLACK
SAUL Of the fact that the Congressman never told you that I left the case. You did? Yeah. CLACK SAUL
CLACK (recovering) He didn’t tell me that.
100. SAUL CLACK
SAUL That’s not important right now. CLACK It was if you came into my office and told me it was important. SAUL But I didn’t. Anyway. Something else is more important right now. Like what? CLACK
SAUL Like the fact that I need to be his lawyer again. Why? CLACK
SAUL Because I need to keep him from doing something very stupid. CLACK That could be a difficult thing to do. SAUL It’s not going to be a difficult thing to do. It’s going to be twelve difficult things to do. INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BUILDING - CORRIDORS - DAY CLACK and SAUL are making their way to the hearing room. CLACK Why didn’t you just get to the Congressman yourself if it was so important? SAUL I need an ally. In what? CLACK
101. SAUL Convincing the Congressman. CLACK Convincing him of what? SAUL Convincing him that he should still speak to me. CLACK Why wouldn’t he -SAUL Listen, we’re going to get to that. We’re just going to have to get to it later. CLACK I still don’t understand though. SAUL stops here, finding somewhere out of earshot, eyeline, and any other way anyone else could possibly overhear. SAUL Last time the Congressman testified, he -you were in your office? CLACK I was holding down the fort. SAUL Did the fort have a TV? Yeah. CLACK
SAUL So you saw Congresswoman Whitings smacked him around a little bit. CLACK She tends to do that to the Congressman. SAUL (beat) So you know? CLACK Why do you keep asking me -SAUL I keep asking you so I don’t have to explain the fact that he’s going to tell the entire world about their romance. (MORE)
102. SAUL (CONT'D) Given how much time and energy she has spent not letting the world know about it, and the little time and energy it will take for him to let the world know about it, he’s going to humiliate her, and, exposing himself to and her to and us to further investigative inquiry. Inquiries that could easily become indictments that could even more easily become convictions. All of this he’d be doing while at the same time following the exact guidance I gave him ever since the first minute I began to represent him. CLACK What advice? SAUL To only tell the truth. They arrive at -INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HEARING ROOM - DAY LISMAN’S at his usual place. SAUL and CLACK squeeze in though some seats behind him. LISMAN (to CLACK) What are you doing here? CLACK Why didn’t you tell me? Me first. LISMAN
CLACK Your question? Yeah. LISMAN
CLACK What was it again? SAUL Congressman we need to have a word with you. You do? LISMAN
LISMAN You really don’t. No, we-SAUL
LISMAN Thank you by the way. For what? SAUL
LISMAN Your advice, your counsel, the things you said, about that one thing you couldn’t stop going on about. The truth? Yeah. SAUL LISMAN
SAUL About that. LISMAN What about it? SAUL About not saying what I think you’re going to say. The truth? Exactly. LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN Has something changed? SAUL Not really, just-LISMAN Then you have nothing to worry about. SAUL To the contrary, I have everything to worry about.
104. LISMAN You’re not my attorney anymore so I’d beg to differ. SAUL Well, I’d beg even harder. Why? LISMAN
SAUL I mean. I would -- I am, begging harder. Clearly. LISMAN
SAUL I know what you’re going to tell the committee right now, and I strongly, vehemently, I don’t have time to think of any other adjectives to use right now. All I have time for is -The Committee has gathered, including WHITINGS who gavels the court to order. Time’s up. LISMAN
WHITINGS This hearing now resumes from its recess. SAUL If you’ll just -I won’t. LISMAN
WHITINGS I’m sorry, Congressman? Don’t be. LISMAN
WHITINGS I’m sure I speak for the committee in declaring that I certainly won’t. I also speak for the committee that as we have completed our inquiry, it would be just to permit you a final statement on your behalf and defense. Congressman, what say you?
105. LISMAN I say -- I won’t say a lot, but I will say this. (beat) What I did was wrong. Which wasn’t anything what anyone in here was expecting him to say. CLACK shoots SAUL a look who’s still eyes aren’t off LISMAN. He wants to see where this is going. LISMAN (CONT’D) I’ve been -- I’m sure there are way better ways to say this, but whether it’s better or not isn’t going to change the fact that what I’m saying, or what I should say is that I’ve been trying to weasel my way out of this. Sure there’ve been technicalities here and there. I won’t bore anyone with repeating them now. If you want to hear them again, get a Tivo. If you don’t have one, you could use mine. Which gets a few uncomfortable laughs -- making LISMAN feel that much more comfortable. LISMAN (CONT’D) I was watching myself. As I do from time to time -- Google myself too, I’m very interested in myself, in case you haven’t noticed. More laughs, and they’ll continue in the places it feels the most appropriate. LISMAN (CONT’D) What I’m getting at though, is that the man I’ve been watching, the man I’ve been Googling, that’s not the man -- that’s not the man who came before this House of Representatives over thirty years ago. Nah. I tell you what, that man, that man wouldn’t have solicited high priced call girls. Not because he couldn’t have afforded them, and God knows, he couldn’t have afforded them, but because most of his constituents, most of the people in his United States, wouldn’t have allowed it. They wouldn’t have allowed the things that I have allowed myself to do in the thirty years since. (beat) (MORE)
106. LISMAN (CONT’D) Am I proud of these things? Not in the slightest. Not that I’m here, before this committee. I wanted to make history, but not like this. I’m the second person in the history of persons serving this sacred institution who has been brought before this committee, to answer to the nature of the charges I have had these two weeks to answer to. (beat) I’m not going to make excuses. That was what I hoped to accomplish two weeks ago when I said the things I said. I don’t even want to remember them. You deserve more than that. You, the committee, you my colleagues in Congress, you my American citizens, all deserve more than this. You deserve the truth. Not like there’s anything I can tell you that you haven’t heard. Nothing aside from the truth which made me bring up the Fifth Amendment. A side of the truth we haven’t seen, or rather, a side of the truth, I haven’t told is... SAUL waits, hoping he’s not going to say it. LISMAN thinks about how best to put this, putting it -LISMAN (CONT’D) (like this) Is that the truth isn’t the same thing it was thirty years ago. Actually it is, I just didn’t choose to see it that way. I told my lawyer, Saul Wahr -(points him out) That guy over there. I told him just what I thought the truth was a few days ago. Actually, no, I was about to, it was right before I was going to fire him. But he beat me to that punch. (beat) That it’s what the most amount of people would prefer to believe at one time. That’s what it came down to. That most people wouldn’t want to believe that I could do those things I did. But now they do, and getting them to believe otherwise, getting them to do what I wanted to believe they could do when I began this trial would be, and is very much impossible. The only thing that’s possible is to take responsibility in whatever form it may be. (MORE)
107. LISMAN (CONT’D) Whether it is censure, whether it is expulsion. Whatever the case may be, I cannot avoid the consequences. I cannot do that as much as I cannot advise any servant of the people, anyone possessing of the enormity and humility of the public’s trust to do anything but the same when faced with consequences such as those for the actions I have made. (beat) Madame Chairwoman, this is my defense. May it please the court. A sober silence permeates this hearing room, from WHITING, the other CONGRESSMEN and CONGRESSWOMEN, LAWYERS, PRESS, CLACK and SAUL. They’ve never seen this man like this before. INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - NIGHT SAUL’S with LISMAN and CLACK, having glasses of scotch, perfect for numbing their uncertainty. LISMAN Where’s your wife? CLACK She’s dead. LISMAN Not yours. (to SAUL) Yours? SAUL She couldn’t be here right now. LISMAN Is she dead too? SAUL No. She just -- has her reasons right now. CLACK Now that’s not very reasonable, is it? SAUL Who said wives knew anything about reason? LISMAN True. I’ve had seven.
108. Laughter from them all. It’ll continue as feels appropriate. SAUL Congressman? LISMAN Call me Walter. Walter. Yeah. SAUL LISMAN
SAUL I just wanted to -LISMAN Hold that thought. Why? SAUL
LISMAN Because I want to thank you. For what? SAUL
LISMAN For your -- your opening statement. Really? Yes. Why? SAUL LISMAN SAUL
LISMAN It was inspiring. It was? SAUL
CLACK Apparently. LISMAN I was ripping you off. I should be tried for plagiarism.
109. SAUL I don’t think you plagiarized. LISMAN You don’t have to, the committee would, they just might have to add that to the charges. SAUL By way of charges, I think they’ve got bigger fish to fry right now. An uncomfortable silence follows that -SAUL (CONT’D) I’m sorry. I -Don’t. LISMAN
SAUL I shouldn’t have -LISMAN You should have. I deserved that. SAUL Nobody deserves that. LISMAN Do you think... CLACK What Walter? LISMAN Do you think they’ll convict. SAUL They won’t -- it’s not a matter of conviction. LISMAN Then what’s the matter? SAUL It’s -- there could be a number of different scenarios. LISMAN What’s the worst?
110. SAUL Expulsion, some criminal charges to follow, Political censure-LISMAN Do you think that’ll happen? I don’t. SAUL
LISMAN What do you think’ll happen? SAUL I don’t know. LISMAN What do you know? SAUL I know that they just heard one of their own humanize themselves in a way that nobody -- and I don’t think I’m alone in saying, nobody they have ever heard could. You did what every trial litigator worth their salt would do and you turned the salt in the case into sugar. You turned the case into a matter of a man embracing honesty, and humility -- your words not mine. You did something which nobody in their right mind would do in political culture because who knows how many of their minds are right? You took responsibility for what you did, and are claiming responsibility for the consequences they’ll agree to reach. The consequences you’ll get from that are the best you’re going to possibly get. I don’t know what they are. But I do know that. A beat passes among them before a knock is heard at the door. Yeah. CHARLENE comes in. CHARLENE It’s the committee. They’ve -So soon? LISMAN LISMAN
111. CLACK I guess so. LISMAN I don’t want to guess right now. SAUL Then don’t guess. LISMAN And do what? Go. CLACK
LISMAN (to SAUL) Will you join us? SAUL Of course, Walter. As they make their way out of the office -Hold on. LISMAN
CLACK What is it? LISMAN Saul, can I see you for a moment? Sure. SAUL
CLACK Let me know if -I will. LISMAN
CLACK See you there. SAUL stays back with LISMAN. LISMAN Where is she really? My wife? SAUL
SAUL What does it matter? LISMAN It matters because in less than an hour I’m going to find out whether your work paid off. SAUL What does this have to do with her? LISMAN She should be with you. SAUL (beat) She’s at her parents. LISMAN Not at your house? SAUL Yeah - I mean -LISMAN Not at your house. Yeah. SAUL
LISMAN Go to her parents. Walter. Go. SAUL LISMAN
SAUL Congressman. LISMAN I’ll stall them. SAUL You shouldn’t. LISMAN It’s not like they’re going to change their mind.
113. SAUL They could. LISMAN You’re right. It is Congress. Exactly. SAUL
LISMAN So can your wife. From what? SAUL
LISMAN Whatever made her stay at her parents place. SAUL She’s there because I wasn’t with her. LISMAN What a coincidence. SAUL What coincidence? LISMAN She’s not with you now. So. SAUL
LISMAN I’m not the attorney in this conversation. I know. SAUL
LISMAN I’m not a hypocrite either -- right now. And I am? SAUL
LISMAN No. But your wife is. She wants you to be with her more, but she won’t be with you for the one time she should be with you?
114. SAUL (beat) I’m getting that you’ve had this argument before. LISMAN I’ve had seven wives. I’ve had this argument seven thousand times before. As SAUL thinks about that -EXT. A LARGE TUDOR IN CHEVY CHASE - NIGHT SAUL’s parked out in the front. KARI’s trying to get into the car. SAUL would have unlocked it, but he’s a little preoccupied with LAURA right now. LAURA She’s not going with you. SAUL She wants to. LAURA She also wants Rainbow Sherbert with Captain Crunch for breakfast. We know that’s gonna’ happen. SAUL The entire point of bringing her is so you would come too. LAURA Why would I want to go there? SAUL You wanted me to be there with you and Kari. LAURA Wait a second-- I just realized something. What? SAUL
LAURA You’re his lawyer again? Walter’s? Who’s? SAUL LAURA
115. SAUL I mean, the Congressman’s. Yes. Long story. The funny version’s even longer. I’ll explain in the car. LAURA Explain it now. SAUL He’s my client. Explanation done. Now, the other explanation-LAURA Which explanation? SAUL The one where I think it’s somewhat -actually not somewhat -- every-what counterintuitive that your solution to my absence is by being absent. LAURA It wasn’t just your absence. SAUL It wasn’t. But a big part of it was. And I took care of the other part. LAURA By being his lawyer again? SAUL Yes. I promise I’ll work on the overpriced liberalism after we get to The House. Our house? LAURA
SAUL Of Representatives. LAURA Yeah. Still not going to happen. SAUL I’d ask you why. Then you’d say something -- like everything else you’ve said in the past three minutes, I’d object to, so I’m going to do us both a favor in the interest of time and get to this part. Okay. LAURA
116. SAUL I’m sorry for confusing scruples with selfishness. I’m sorry for confusing providing for my family with being completely absent from it. Right now, if there’s any moment I can seek forgiveness, it’s right now, because right now, everything I’ve worked for for the past three months, I’m going to find out if it was worth anything. Whether the Congressman is expelled, or whether he gets off, either way, I don’t just want my family with me. I need my family with me because either way I’ll know it wasn’t for nothing. LAURA considers this for a long beat as we hear the following words -SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE (V.O.) And on the charges regarding Solicitation, how does the committee rule? INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HEARING ROOM - NIGHT The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE heads the hearing, with the other CONGRESSMEN and CONGRESSWOMEN, essentially the same crowd we’ve seen at these hearings, and more. LAURA’S here. As is JENNIFER, CHARLENE, CLACK, and KARI. As each of these verdicts are read, there’ll be reactions from everyone present, especially among SAUL and LISMAN. WHITINGS Mr. Speaker, we, the committee, find the Gentleman from Texas, not guilty. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE And to the charges relating to the solicitation of potential donors to the Walter J. Lisman Foundation for Public Service, how does the committee rule? WHITINGS Mr. Speaker, we, the committee, find the Gentleman from Texas, not guilty. What!? I know. LISMAN SAUL
117. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE And on the misuse of private property for campaign purposes, what say the Committee? WHITINGS Mr. Speaker, we, the committee, find the Gentleman from Texas, not guilty. Even more audible reactions. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE May I ask this court to come to order -LISMAN Isn’t that thirteen? Twelve. One more? Yeah. SAUL LISMAN SAUL
As it comes to order -SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE And on the charges involving the allegations regarding insider trading, what say the committee? LISMAN takes SAUL’S hand. While SAUL reacts -WHITINGS Mr. Speaker, we, the committee, find the Gentleman from Texas, not guilty. LISMAN jumps. SAUL jumps. LAURA, CLACK, CHARLENE, even KARI jump out of their chairs in excitement. The SPEAKER continues, but we’re not listening to him, the high of celebration mixed with denial that this is even happening crashes on everyone.
118. INT. CONGRESSMAN LISMAN’S OFFICE - (LATER THAT) NIGHT. LISMAN shakes SAUL’S hand. CLACK, LAURA, JENNIFER, CHARLENE, and the rest of Lisman’s STAFFERS are having Champagne. Except KARI, who’s having apple juice. LISMAN I think there’s somebody I need to thank. SAUL You’re welcome. Not you. LISMAN
LAURA Congratulations Congressman. LISMAN I was just telling your husband that I should thank you for letting me borrow him these last three months. Just so you know, I brought him back with a full tank of gas. SAUL That’s not what my ulcers say. LAURA It’s never what his ulcers say. Which gets a few laughs. LAURA (CONT’D) Just let me know if you’ll ever need him again. LISMAN I’ll always need him. (pause) Not in a gay way though. LAURA A legal way? Yes. LISMAN
CLACK Congratulations Congressman. LISMAN Thank you Freddy.
119. JENNIFER Congratulations Congressman. LISMAN Thank you-Jennifer. Jennifer. SAUL LISMAN
KARI Congratulations Congressman. LISMAN That’s an awfully big word for an awfully little girl. (to SAUL) Thank you Mr. Wahr. SAUL You couldn’t be more welcome Congressman. LISMAN You didn’t think I was going to thank you did you? SAUL Technically you already did earlier tonight. LISMAN Technicality aside, the Thirteenth District of Texas thanks you. CLACK Thank you Saul. CHARLENE Thank you Saul. KARI Thank you Saul. Honey. LAURA
KARI (re: CHARLENE) That’s what she said.
120. LISMAN It is what she said. (to SAUL re: LAURA) At least that’s what she’s going to say tonight. Off LAURA, then off SAUL who can’t help bust a smile just as he tells her. It’s true. SAUL SNAP TO BLACK
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