White House aides are bracing for hefty legal fees as the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump administration continues to heat up.
The staff has reportedly been lawyering up to help them navigate the battle ahead, and in a bid to protect their reputations and careers, according to The Hill.
While Trump certainly has the means and resources to hire attorneys to defend him during the investigation, it’s not nearly the same for his aides.
In fact, several complicating factors play a role in aides deciding who will counsel them on legal matters of this magnitude. For starters, conflicts of interest restrictions can prevent aides from accepting free or discounted advice from an attorney or finding firms without ties to the White House, says the report.
Not to mention, the exorbitant legal fees that one incurs just to protect themselves, even if they have not committed any wrongdoing.
Trump aides with limited funds do have other options available to them, including filing for public subsides, relying on homeowners’ insurance, or leaning on the help of pro bono lawyer friends. However, Politico reports that if an employee solicits friends and family for advice, they must record the advice as a gift on their next financial disclosure.
“I do think people should be lawyering up,” said former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. “Just being on the campaign trail with Flynn you have to lawyer up. The FBI doing its due diligence has to ask you about the contact and what he said to you.”
President Trump is also being encouraged to seek lawyers. On Thursday, he met with White House lawyers and his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen to discuss the investigation.
The Hill reported, citing CNN, that White House lawyers have also begun looking into impeachment procedures, but a White House official said that is not true.
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