White House officials who have incurred steep legal expenses because of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference are expected to receive financial aid beginning this week.
The financial assistance will be administered through a legal defense fund, to which anyone can donate as long as they waive their anonymity. The Office of Government Ethics forbids anonymous contributions to legal defense funds.
"It's well underway and ideally will be formatted this week so your average person who shouldn't be forced to pay a lot of legal fees will have access to funds," White House special counsel Ty Cobb told Politico late Monday.
"The idea is to make it as efficient as possible," Cobb added, noting that the White House is weighing whether to arrange a "pool counsel" — an attorney who would be shared by several Trump aides — for staffers who are likely to be questioned by Mueller or summoned for congressional hearings.
More than a dozen current and former administration officials have lawyered up to protect themselves while Mueller's investigation remains underway, including but not limited to White House communications director Hope Hicks, senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Others, like former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn and Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo, have struggled to pay for the mounting legal fees they are facing as a result of the federal investigation.
The Washington Examiner reported this month that Caputo liquidated his children's college savings to cover his legal bills, while relatives of Flynn recently set up an online legal defense fund for the three-star general, who has emerged as a top target in Mueller's investigation.