The new White House counsel will need to hire at least a dozen new attorneys to handle the coming Democratic House majority -- but first he needs to start working.
President Donald Trump's former counsel left the White House in mid-October, and his replacement Pat Cipollone is still going through an extended background check and working to extricate himself from his law firm work, reported Politico.
The counsel's office currently has about 25 lawyers, according to one Republican close to the administration.
That's down from a high point of roughly 35 attorneys and far below the 40 lawyers that some expect would be necessary to deal with congressional investigations likely to be opened when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.
“I don’t think anyone who is paying attention thinks they are prepared for a Democratic takeover," said one former White House official.
Another Republican who's in touch with the White House described the counsel's office current state as "denuded and shrinking."
Cipollone remains weeks away from joining the White House, so Trump's personal attorney Emmet Flood is currently overseeing the counsel's office, according to Politico.
McGahn's chief of staff and deputy counsel, Annie Donaldson, is expected to leave the administration in the coming weeks and move to Alabama, according to two Republicans close to the White House.