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Without a campaign war chest or a Congressional legal defense fund to pay mounting legal bills, Brand said, some ex-Members are forced into caving and making a plea deal with prosecutors.
Mitchell, however, said that sometimes just the opposite might happen and instead a politician who is already out of office might lose incentive to cooperate.
“It’s much easier to scare a sitting Member. An ex-Member, they might figure: ‘I’m a former Member, what else do I have to lose,’” she said.