The White House counsel’s office is down to a skeletal staff, potentially leaving them unprepared to deal with a flood of subpoenas for documents and witnesses when Democrats take control of the House.
The office has been without a permanent leader since ex-White House senior attorney Don McGahn left the administration in mid-October. His replacement, Pat Cipollone, is caught up in an extended background check that’s prevented him from starting.
“They only have roughly 20 dedicated White House lawyers and a bunch of detailees who could leave at any time,” one former White House official told POLITICO. “I don’t think anyone who is paying attention thinks they are prepared for a Democratic takeover.”