“The thing you worry about in a process like that is you just make a mistake and it appears more than it is,” said Rep. Sean Maloney, a New York Democratic lawmaker who served as staff secretary for President Bill Clinton during his final two years at the White House amid congressional impeachment proceedings. “We’re all human beings. If someone asks you questions for two or three hours it’s easy to make a mistake.”
At least some of the people who joined the Trump administration were aware of the legal risks. “I had folks who joined the administration ask that question, which should tell you something,” said Luskin, who previously represented President George W. Bush’s senior political adviser Karl Rove during the investigation into the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity, as well as a pair of senior officials during the probe of Clinton’s Whitewater land deals.
A few of the central players in the Trump investigations already have counsel. Former campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose work in Ukraine is under review, has a lawyer, as does former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who last week was served with a subpoena by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Their attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.