Sean Spicer has lawyered up.
The president’s former press secretary has tapped Chris Mead, a high-powered criminal defense attorney, to handle issues related to the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, The Daily Beast has learned.
According to his bio page at the firm London & Mead, Mead specializes in white collar criminal defense and Congressional investigations, as well as issues related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act——a law that bars Americans from bribing foreign government officials. His law firm bio also boasts that he gained “extensive experience in money laundering” prosecutions when he was a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.
Spicer will need legal help for the probe. Axios reported last week that he took detailed notes throughout the presidential campaign, which may be of great interest and use to Mueller and his team of investigators.
Neither Spicer nor Mead responded to multiple requests for comment.
Nina Ginsberg, a founding partner of DiMuro Ginsberg PC and longtime criminal defense attorney, told The Daily Beast Mead is well-suited for his role.
“He’s got years of experience in complex cases and in dealing with difficult prosecutors,” she said. “He knows where all the pitfalls are and won’t get caught up in the politics.”
Spicer is not the first White House official to bring on legal help. White House Communications Director Hope Hicks recently retained Robert Trout, of the firm Trout Cacheris & Janis. Vice President Mike Pence has retained Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods, and Jared Kushner is represented by Abbe Lowell of Norton Rose Fulbright.
Lawyer’s fees can add up quickly during investigations. Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, is expected to spend more than $1 million on legal services because of the combined cost of dealing with Mueller’s probe and Congressional investigators. Top white collar attorneys in Washington frequently bill more than $1,000 per hour.
To cope with these expenses, White House allies have worked to form a legal defense fund to help staffers pay their attorneys. It is not clear if this fund would help Spicer pay his legal bills, or if his potentially lucrative——but so far unrealized——post-White House work will mean he won’t need financial assistance.
— Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng contributed reporting