White House Legal Team in Tatters as Democrats are Weeks Away From a Legal Firestorm
If there was ever a time that the President needed a well oiled machine of a legal team in the White House, it would be now. With Democrats ready to take control of the House in just over one month, legal battles are sure to heat up. The White House’s legal team, however, appears to be anything but prepared.
With ex-White House senior attorney Don McGahn leaving the administration over a month ago, and his replacement, Pat Cipollone, currently trapped in the midst of a major background check all while still in the process of removing himself from his law firm, things certainly do not appear to be running smoothly for the legal team. Currently the team is made up of approximately 20 dedicated White House lawyers, with Mcgahn’s deputy counsel Annie Donaldson also prepared to leave within weeks.
Typically one would expect a team of 40 lawyers working for the White House in a situation like this, where Democrats will soon unleash a firestorm of investigations, subpoena’s and legal battles.
“They only have roughly 20 dedicated White House lawyers and a bunch of detailees who could leave at any time,” a former White House official told POLITICO. “I don’t think anyone who is paying attention thinks they are prepared for a Democratic takeover.”
Former White House attorneys have warned that during a lame duck period like the one we are currently in, minor scandals can easily explode into a major legal fight, and without a current leader in place for the White House’s team, things could quickly spiral out of control.
If the Mueller probe ends soon, not only will the White House’s legal team have to deal with Democrats in the House, but they will have their hands full dealing with the likely legal ramifications of indictments, which may be closely linked to the president himself.
The next year is certain to be hellish for the lawyers within the White House. The president better hope that the team he has helped assemble can get their act together before it’s too late.