9.24.2005

Former DSCC Staffer Hires Top Dollar Defense Attorney

Katie Barge is the former director of research for the DSCC. The Washington Post, quoting sources familiar with the investigation, tell us that Katie Barge is one of the two former staffers that resigned from the committee as a result of the illegal acquisition of Virginia Lt. Gov Michael Steele's credit report.

On September 21, the Post reported an interesting tidbit.
Bill Lawler, an attorney representing Barge, said she had brought the matter to her superiors' attention. "She resigned because she didn't want this episode to negatively reflect on the committee," Lawler said.

Bill Lawler is William Lawler III. He is an attorney at Vinson & Elkins LLP. The V&E bio notes his legal experience.
Represented Governor of New Jersey in broad public corruption, bribery and false statements investigation

That governor would be former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. The Bergen Record -- a Jersey paper -- columnist Mike Kelly wrote about McGreevey's troubles on September 28, 2004. He notes that Lawler is a well known white collar criminal defense attorney. Although...
Lawler doesn't come cheap. He charges $420 an hour.

Lawler must be a great attorney. His firm, Vinson & Elkins, also represented former Senator Robert Torricelli of the investigation into the Senator's fundraising methods. V&E seems to do a lot of work for New Jersey Democrats.

Before Senator Schumer was elected as chairman of the DSCC, another New Jersey Senator, Jon Corzine, was heading the organization. Senator Corzine is now running for governoer of the State of New Jersey.

Katie Barge has held a research position for the Edwards Campaign, a supervisory role of research at Media Matters, and in late Februray of this year she was named as Director of Research for the DSCC. I'm not very familiar with the compensation package for a political researcher, but does it fall in the range to afford a $420 an hour defense attorney?

Who would recommend Katie Barge hire William Lawler III to represent her legal interests?

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