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Who Is Pat Cipollone? Donald Trump Names D.C. Lawyer New White House Counsel

Rhodilee Jean Dolor - Author

Oct. 16 2018, Updated 10:22 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump has confirmed that Washington, D.C., lawyer Pat Cipollone will soon take over as White House counsel.

Trump told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday that Cipollone will replace current White House counsel Don McGahn.

McGahn announced last summer that he would leave once the Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

People familiar to the matter said that McGahn, who has held the position since Trump took office, will likely leave before the midterm election.

Trump has also considered Brian Brooks, former general counsel of mortgage giant Fannie Mae, and Emmet Flood, who served as Special Counsel in the George W. Bush Administration, for the position. Cipollone, however, was a favorite to replace McGahn.

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The president confirmed Cipollone’s appointment just days after he assured the press that he would soon name the new White House counsel.

“I haven’t named the new White House counsel. But over a short period of time, I will,” Trump told reporters on Saturday, according to CNN.

When asked if Cipollone was on the top of the list, the president had good things to say about the veteran lawyer.

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“Pat’s a great guy, I don’t want to say, but he’s a great guy. He’s very talented and he’s a very good man, but I don’t want to say yet.”

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CNN said that Cipollone already met with White House officials last week to discuss the counsel’s job.

Cipollone currently practices commercial litigation at Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner in Washington, D.C.

According to Stein Mitchell, Cipollone worked as a litigation partner for more than a decade in Kirkland & Ellis’ Washington, D.C., office before joining Stein Mitchell as name partner.

“He has litigated cases in state and federal courts, and before administrative agencies. Mr. Cipollone has represented clients in arbitrations, mediations, and complex negotiations,” reads the law firm biography of Cipollone.

Cipollone also served in the U.S. Department of Justice working for William Barr, the attorney general of the United States from 1991 to 1993. Cipollone has received the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Management.

Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president who has worked with Cipollone, described him as a brilliant attorney.

“I have had the privilege to work with him and can attest to his skill, integrity and knowledge of the law. If selected by the President, he would make an outstanding White House counsel,” Sekulow told CNN

Cipollone has advised Trump’s lawyers on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the link between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign.


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