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Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:44 PM

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OPED: Tale Of Two Agents: McCabe Raises More Than $400k For Legal Fees As Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn On Brink Of Ruin

It's a tale of two targets.

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser and retired three-star Army general, is on the brink of financial ruin, selling his Virginia home in order to pay his mounting legal bills.

Meanwhile, Andrew McCabe – the wealthy ex-FBI official fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions whose wife is a physician – raised an extraordinary $400,000 online from 10,000 people in one day to pay his lawyers.

McCabe family

In less than a day, McCabe's GoFundMe raised more than $400,000, including from many small donations of $5 and $10.  (screengrab)

Both Flynn and McCabe have been accused of lying. Only Flynn has been charged with a crime. But both are expected to continue racking up enormous legal fees in the months to come.

“Most people have no idea how expensive top flight representation costs in white-collar cases,” Robert Stahl, a criminal defense attorney and a former assistant U.S. Attorney, told Fox News.

Stahl said experienced attorneys generally charge between $700 to more than $1,000 an hour, often with multiple attorneys working on the case. Many top tier attorneys charge a minimum of $3 million or more for a complex federal white-collar trial, he said.


“Multiply the amount of time spent meeting with the client to obtain the facts, the hours reviewing documents and case law, and meeting with the government, and you can see how legal bills quickly escalate,” Stahl said.

“Most people have no idea how expensive top flight representation costs in white-collar cases"

- Robert Stahl, white-collar criminal defense attorney

McCabe, who spent more than 20 years at the FBI, was fired earlier this month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the DOJ’s inspector general determined McCabe was not truthful during his review of the Clinton email investigation. The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommended his firing.

On Thursday, he set up a GoFundMe page to crowd source donations for his legal defense fund. In less than a day, it raised more than $400,000, including from many small donations of $5 and $10. The GoFundMe page makes an apparent appeal to anti- Trump activists.

“His reward for that has been a termination that was completely unjustified, amidst repeated ad hominem attacks by the President of the United States,” the fundraising page reads.

McCabe’s GoFundMe says a legal defense fund is needed because he will likely have to respond to congressional inquiries, as well as the Department of Justice’s Inspector General Investigation and “any potential lawsuits he might consider.”

Meanwhile, Flynn, who served in the U.S. Army for 33 years, is struggling financially in the wake of his prosecution.


"I'm not going to sugarcoat it, this has been a trying experience,” his youngest brother, Joe Flynn, recently told ABC News. "It has been a crucible and it's not over."

Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, is selling his Virginia townhome to help pay for his mounting legal fees after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.  (Google Earth/REUTERS)

Flynn was fired from the White House last year for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador and then pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. A source close to Flynn said financial and emotional pressure helped lead to the decision to plead guilty, rather than endure a drawn-out court battle.

Flynn’s siblings set up a legal defense fund for the former Trump administration official to collect donations from supporters, though have not used a crowd funding platform like GoFundMe that reveals how much money has been raised.

Family members of the retired three-star Army general recently said he put his home in the Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria — just outside Washington, D.C. — on the market in December with an asking price of $895,000 to help pay his legal bills.

ABC News reported that Flynn has since moved back to Rhode Island.

An attorney for Flynn declined to comment. Barbara Redgate, Flynn's sister who set up the legal defense fund, did not immediately return a message Friday asking how much money has been raised.

But Flynn's siblings have said any money made from the sale of the Virginia home will go toward Flynn’s legal fees.

"The costs of legal representation associated with responding to the multiple investigations that have arisen in the wake of the 2016 election place a great burden on Mike and his family," the website for the legal fund says. 

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.