In a news story The Daily Beast broke this morning about Robert Mueller potentially calling in as witnesses six key White House and former White House staffers, a significant detail came to light: administration employees are raising a legal defense fund to cope with the veteran Special Prosecutor’s ever-intensifying scrutiny over possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Mueller now has in his sites Trump favorite, twenty-eight-year-old interim White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, as she may have vital insights on the truth of what happened on the president’s flight back from the G-20 Summit, where he held several secret meetings with Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
“’No doubt in my mind [Hicks] is going to be a witness,'” a source told The Daily Beast.
Other likely Mueller witnesses include:
Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, former press secretary Sean Spicer, White House counsel Don McGahn, McGahn aide James Burnham, and Kushner aide and White House spokesman Josh Raffel . . . .
The median White House salary is $89,000 per year. Not low, but still a stretch to cover a white collar criminal defense attorney whose billable hours range from $500 to $1,000 per hour. And it looks like there may be lots of hours to bill in this case.
The well-heeled Paul Manafort, Trump’s previous campaign manager (as well as a lobbyist for dictators), and former National Security Council member, General Michael Flynn, have themselves felt intense financial strain from fending off Mueller’s dauntless probe into alleged collusion between Trump’s inner circle and the Russian government during the 2016 election.
If it is a financial challenge for Manafort and Flynn, it would ostensibly be an even heavier lift for young aides like Ms. Hicks. The Trump administration must be having to add more to its legal defense fund coffers with every passing day, and every new witness the Special Prosecutor calls.
Anyone associated with Trump needs a good defense team to defend themselves against Mueller, a revered longtime prosecutor and the former head of the FBI under both Republican and Democrat presidents. He is investigating Trump, his family, and some of his closest business colleagues for a whole litany of potential crimes, including conspiracy with a foreign power, obstruction of justice and money laundering.
Helping Donald Trump get to the Oval Office may end up costing his aides a pretty penny, to say nothing of their professional and ethical reputations.
Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.