Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was tasked with investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and over a year later where are we? As of May, the American taxpayer is out almost 17 million dollars, paid to Mueller and his 15 lawyers, but the personal cost to those caught in his web built upon fake news is incalculable.
Mueller and his army of lawyers have managed to indict four Trump associates with three pleading guilty. Two of three are minor players that had little personal knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump campaign. The number of indictments for anything remotely attached to Mueller’s original mandate – Zero.
50 administration employees and former campaign staff have been called before Mueller and after thousands of hours of interviews and the demand for millions of pages of documents, the personal cost for being associated with the President has reached new heights.
Legal experts interviewed by Vice News say that the massive legal costs that face those caught in the “boa constrictor-like pressure” used by Mueller to “squeeze Trump’s allies” is suffocating. The financial strain of such legal fees often determines if those charged with crimes choose to cooperate or fight in court.
Solomon Wisenberg who served as independent counsel when Bill Clinton was accused of obstruction of justice said, “Six figures is not at all unusual in a big case like this.”
Michael Flynn illustrates the financial toll paid by those caught in Mueller’s web. After he was dismissed by President Trump 24 days into his role as national security adviser, Flynn moved back to his hometown of Middletown, R.I. But his retirement home he had purchased three years early didn’t survive Mueller’s shadow. Flynn and his wife put it on the market almost immediately.
Flynn told ABC News, “I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this has been a trying experience. It has been a crucible and it’s not over.”
Though it has since been revealed that Flynn was probably entrapped by the FBI and then misled by White House insiders as to how he should react, his mounting legal fee—that have since reach a million dollars—have cost him dearly.
Historian, commentator, and personal friend, Michael Ledeen said the legal debt was not the ultimate reason Flynn chose to plead guilty. “I think,” said Ledeen, “he wanted to stop the pain.”
All is not bad for Flynn, however. Family members set up a defense fund to collect donations from supporters to offset the General’s legal fees. He said that he has been “deeply moved” by the thousands of individual donations, none of which came from foreign nationals or his former boss.
Both Flynn and former campaign aide Rick Gates cite financial pressures as the reason for pleading guilty after striking a deal with Mueller’s investigators.
“There are times when people plead guilty because they just don’t have the money to go on. It can have a very significant, if not determinative, role in case strategy,” says former federal prosecutor Mariatti.
Each hearing often costs upwards of $30,000 and when facing a legal dream team like the one working for Robert Mueller it doesn’t pay to cut corners.
Being an attorney doesn’t make one safer from the financial ramifications. “I don’t make enough money to withstand an onslaught from the federal government,” said former Trump campaign communications aide Michael Caputo, “The legal fees were suffocating.”
Several white-collar defense attorneys say that fighting such criminal charges can easily cost over $1 million. The cheaper option is to plead guilty and seek a deal, but even that can still cost well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just ask General Flynn.
Former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen had been subjected to a financial vice grip that would ruin all but a few. The FBI seized 3.7 million documents which should be shielded from investigators by attorney-client privilege.
Mariatti estimates the expense for Cohen to pay for the process of vetting those documents could cost over $250,000. He said, “The court-appointed ‘special master,’ who’s been screening those same files, recently invoiced the government $338,421 for one month’s work.”
Other are not nearly as blessed as Flynn. George Papadopoulos, a former low-level adviser to President Trump has seen his GoFundMe collect $290 while he is seeking $200,000.
Such costs show why a number of FBI agents have asked to be subpoenaed by Congress. In their case, the federal government must pay their legal fees. Mueller’s victims have no such option.
~ Freedom News Report