Hmmm, working to undermine the peaceful transition of power that has characterized the American democracy since Washington is not why *I* went to law school, but YMMV.
Listen, I know behind every modern election there’s a team of lawyers waiting to forward their interpretation of a hanging chad (and Lennon Parham was glorious in that role, FYI), but this year’s different. We have a president that won’t commit to accepting the election results and, hell, yesterday’s New York Times front page story was Trump Escalates Push To Erode Trust In Election. So… yeah, if American democracy somehow survives 2020, working on behalf of undermining the election process may not have the same glow as working on Bush v. Gore did for the previous generation of GOP lawyers. And even noted GOP election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg has come out and said this is a terrible look for Republicans:
“The president’s words make his and the Republican Party’s rhetoric look less like sincere concern — and more like transactional hypocrisy designed to provide an electoral advantage.”
But the lawyers for the Trump campaign have been hired. And the same way we call attention to the good work Biglaw does, we have to call out the, erm, more embarrassing work too.
Politico has the details on the firms working on the election for Trump:
Most Republican attorneys are being tapped from a trio of law firms: Consovoy McCarthy, which defended Trump in his effort to stop Congress and New York prosecutors from receiving his financial records; Jones Day, which has raked in millions from the Trump campaign since before the 2016 election; and King and Spalding, which once employed FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Consovoy McCarthy is a litigation boutique firm that was started in 2014 and made a name for itself in conservative circle by challenging Harvard’s affirmative action policies. And Jones Day, well, you know Jones Day. The firm was home to former White House Counsel Don McGahn. The Trump campaign reportedly took new work away from the firm when the presidents relationship with McGahn soured, but currently finds themselves in the middle of election work. King & Spalding has picked up a number of lawyers who once worked for the Trump administration like Sally Yates, Rod Rosenstein, and Dan Coats. But they also have lawyers that’ve been critical of the Trump administration, like Sally Yates, Rod Rosenstein and Dan Coats.
But whatever the reason for getting involved in election legal work on behalf of the president, this kind of notoriety undoubtedly doesn’t sit well with lots of folks the firms may want to recruit.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).