Democrats are preparing for war with president Donald Trump.
The House Judiciary Committee is looking for a few good lawyers.
A recent committee job posting reviewed by CNN asked for legislative counsels with a variety of expertise: “criminal law, immigration law, constitutional law, intellectual property law, commercial and administrative law (including antitrust and bankruptcy), or oversight work.”
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee needs lawyers, too, posting jobs for “executive branch investigative counsel.”
The advertisements give a window into the Democratic recruiting that’s ramped up ahead of the party gaining subpoena power for the first time in eight years when it takes over the House in January…
The hiring efforts started early. One Democratic House committee posted a help-wanted ad on a job board frequented by Capitol Hill staffers the day after the November 6 midterm elections. The post, which did not name the committee, sought “investigative counsel to conduct congressional investigations and advise on policy matters related to oversight of the executive branch.”
“Responsibilities include staffing letters and subpoenas, conducting interviews, organizing and staffing hearings and preparing memos, talking points, statements and reports as necessary,” the listing stated. “Previous congressional or executive branch experience preferred, but candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply. Candidates must have attention to detail, excellent writing skills, excel under pressure and have a sense of humor.”
One person familiar with the Democratic ramp-up in staffing told CNN, “There are a lot of people willing to take pay cuts to come do that work.”
“We’re being deluged with resumes, really impressive resumes. There will be no shortage of good candidates. The difficulty will be choosing among them,” said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who will lead the House Intelligence Committee next year and will play a key role in investigating Russian election interference.
A part of the reason is that Democrats need to grandstand in order to raise funds for the 2020 presidential campaign, NBC reported.
Seeking the White House has never been more expensive, and some veteran Democrats estimate a candidate will need to raise $10 million to $15 million in the first quarter of 2019, and at least $50 million during the full year, to be seriously competitive once voters start actually casting ballots in early 2020.
Trump’s re-election campaign and affiliated GOP groups have already raised more than $100 million, while the Republican National Committee has raised tens of millions more.
Many potential Democratic candidates have circled January or early February on their calendars as the ideal launch window — early enough to try to raise an impressive amount of money in the first quarter of the year without stepping on November’s midterm elections…
January is likely to be crowded because it comes at the start of a financial quarter, which gives candidates the maximum amount of time to raise money before announcing their first fundraising haul at the end of the quarter in March. Extra days mean more swank campaign fundraisers, dialing-for-dollars calls, and more email solicitations to grassroots contributors who chip in just a few dollars at a time.
Presidential campaigns’ first fundraising reports to the Federal Election Commission are scrutinized like report cards by the media, rivals and opinion-leading party leaders, labor union heads and elected officials, as they decide whom to support.
A lack of early fundraising strength can be a death knell for a candidate since donors both large and small look to bet on a winning candidate and are quick to drop perceived losers.
Money isn’t everything in politics, but it’s a lot. And a strong first quarter fundraising haul is one of the surest ways to demonstrate viability and strength, not just in the primary, but in the general election against Trump.