With Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifying before Congress and F.B.I. Director James Comey receiving his walking papers a few weeks ago, there’s no doubt that both sides’ lawyers must remain on their toes.
So, who is up in this debate between the Republican establishment and Democratic politicians and their legal teams? Well, the lawyers themselves might be, according to a recent New York Times‘ article that chronicled an uptick in the need for high-level legal representation on both sides of the aisle.
The latest shakeup is the firing of James Comey and the appointment of former F.B.I. Director James Mueller as new special counsel. James Mueller will be tasked with overseeing the investigation spearheaded by the Justice Department looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and associates with ties to the Russian government.
Cool thinking and impartiality will have the final say as counsel from both sides seek to gain the cooperation of low-level staffers to point to either misconduct or fair play. The money will really start to add up and overflow the coffers of the top law firms representing both sides.
Thousands of dollars per hour isn’t unusual, and you can expect to multiple that hourly rate by as many staffers as that law firm has combing through murky records and preparing a witness for testimony. Preparing a witness for Congressional hearings, and all that that entails, could lead to the total legal costs soaring to six or seven figures.
In corporate law cases, the CEO being charged for malfeasance could typically have some or all of those costs defrayed by the corporation. With federal employees, though, the costs are usually borne by the person being sued or doing the suing. This means that President Trump might be shelling out more money for legal representation and conflicts of interest between the prosecutors involved (e.g., James Mueller has ties to a corporate law firm that represents former SEC heads).