Is it time for Trump staff to lawyer up?

Veterans of Washington's scandals say that with subpoenas coming from Congress and an FBI investigation still active, staffers would be wise to seek counsel.

By Darren Samuelsohn

05/14/17 07:02 AM EDT

Updated 05/14/17 01:40 PM EDT

Veterans of White House scandals from Watergate to Plamegate have an important message for Team Trump: It’s time to think about lawyering up.

In the past week, a Senate committee began issuing subpoenas in its investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump’s staff and other associates during the 2016 election campaign and transition, while the FBI continues its own criminal investigation. Trump himself fired FBI Director James Comey and then, in the aftermath, said the Russia probe was “made up” and appeared to threaten Comey on Twitter.

“There’s obviously a risk here,” said Washington white-collar defense attorney Robert Luskin. “And that’s not any kind of judgment on [Trump’s] personal integrity or absence of it, but the apparent fact he doesn’t seem to be very sensitive about norms and about risks.”

It’s an axiom of Washington scandals that the cover-up tends to be worse than the crime — and it’s lower- or mid-level people who wind up getting caught in the worst legal trouble, usually for tangential offenses like perjury or obstruction of justice.