Top Trump officials turn to white-collar lawyer as probes heat up

(Reuters) – As the U.S. Justice Department carries on to look into attempts by then-U.S. President Donald Trump to undermine the 2020 election final results, longtime Washington, D.C., law firm Emmet Flood is obtaining himself in high need.

Flood, a companion at regulation agency Williams & Connolly, is symbolizing previous Vice President Mike Pence in relationship with probes by each the Justice Department and the U.S. Residence Jan. 6 committee, according to a individual common with the subject. He is also advising Pence’s previous chief of team Marc Limited and previous White House advisor Kellyanne Conway.

Flood, who specializes in white-collar investigations, has attained a name as an aggressive defender of the legal doctrine of executive privilege, which shields some presidential documents and communications from disclosure.

The application of govt privilege to a federal grand jury investigation is likely to be a important situation as the Justice Division attempts to problem witnesses about actions in the White House pursuing the 2020 election.

Trump unsuccessfully pressed Pence to use his role overseeing the congressional certification of the election on Jan. 6, 2021 to help him reverse his decline at the polls to Democrat Joe Biden. A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and quickly disrupted the continuing.

The New York Occasions described that federal prosecutors are searching for to issue Pence as part of their probe. A spokesperson for Flood’s firm did not reply to a request for remark on his operate for Pence or other customers.

“It’s a very fraught situation to compel a vice president to arrive in and go over challenges that had been intended to be confidential and also intended to be guarded by executive privilege, even in the grand jury context,” mentioned William Burck of legislation agency Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, who labored with Flood in the George W. Bush White Home.

“There’s no 1 much more skilled to navigate it and extra astute at these challenges than he is,” Burck mentioned about Flood.

Pence has explained he would not sit for an interview with the congressional Jan. 6 committee, and the panel has not subpoenaed him.

The committee held its final general public listening to on Monday, referring Trump to the Justice Office for legal rates.

Govt privilege protections are weaker when the facts is sought as component of a criminal investigation relatively than requested by Congress, in which these disputes most typically come up, lawyers instructed Reuters. Already, Small, Flood’s client, as nicely as former White Household lawyers Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, have made further appearances prior to a federal grand jury in D.C. right after a decide rejected their privilege arguments, in accordance to media stories.

During his occupation, Flood, 66, has defended former President Invoice Clinton all through his impeachment, previous Vice President Dick Cheney in civil litigation and Trump in responding to the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian election interference in 2016.

He labored as a White Household lawyer under Bush at a time when Democrats in Congress aggressively investigated the administration’s procedures and routines.

Elliot Mincberg, who at the time served as main investigative counsel to the U.S. Home Judiciary Committee, mentioned Flood adopted a “very expansive watch of government prerogative” in attempting to protect White Home documents from the panel.

Flood also handles much more routine civil litigation and securities investigations, just lately representing previous Boeing Co CEO Dennis Muilenburg in a settlement with U.S. regulators related to fatal crashes of the company’s 737 MAX planes.

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