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Big Law Attorneys Take Spotlight in Jan. 6 Hearings This Week

June 13, 2022, 9:30 AM

Attorneys with Big Law ties will play prominent roles in the House Jan. 6 committee hearings this week, as former Kirkland & Ellis partner Jeffrey Rosen testifies about Donald Trump’s efforts to sway the Justice Department toward the former president’s post-election goals.

Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general and now a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in New York, will join Rosen, the former acting U.S. attorney general, at the June 15 hearing.

Also joining Rosen will be Steven Engel, a Dechert partner who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. On June 16, Greg Jacob, an O’Melveny & Myers partner and former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, is scheduled to testify on efforts to pressure Pence to not count certain electoral votes.

The lawyers follow William Barr into the hearing spotlight.

At the opening hearing on June 9, lawmakers played a recording of testimony by Barr, a former Kirkland & Ellis lawyer who served as Trump’s attorney general. Barr told the House panel in the testimony that Trump’s election fraud claims were “bull——.”

Here’s more about the lawyers who will be featured at the hearings this week:

Jeffrey Rosen

Rosen and others who will testify on June 15 are expected to spotlight Trump’s alleged plot to replace the acting attorney general in order to further false election claims.

Jeffrey Rosen
Photographer: Yuri Gripas

Rosen was the the deputy attorney general before Barr resigned. Both men say there was no evidence of fraud that was sufficient to change the presidential election’s outcome. Rosen held fast when Trump pressured him to publicly say the election was stolen.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) said at Thursday’s hearing that Trump sought to replace Rosen with then-Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark. Clark was allegedly ready to send a letter to certain states that said the Justice Department had found evidence of election fraud.

Rosen has since resurfaced as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, as well as in roles at the Administrative Conference of the United States and on the board of a special purpose acquisition company.

Richard Donoghue

Donoghue, who is also said to be scheduled to testify June 15, didn’t yield to pressure from Trump regarding voter fraud accusations, according to reports.

As the acting deputy attorney general during the final two months of Trump’s presidency, he was also prepared to resign if Trump fired Rosen, Politico has reported.

At Pillsbury, Donoghue works alongside former Associate Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian, who convened Justice officials to stop Rosen’s ouster.

Donoghue is also a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. He works out of Pillsbury’s New York office, where he handles corporate investigations and white collar defense.

Steven Engel

Engel, also said to be on the June 15 witness list, was an assistant attorney general under Trump and led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

CNN reported a year ago that Donoghue told Engel that he wanted to meet with him “about some antics that could potentially end up on your radar.”

Steven Engel
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Engel presumably will be able to tell the committee about concerns by Donoghue and others about what Trump was doing or what they worried he would do.

At Dechert, Engel is a litigator in high-profile trial and appellate matters and counsels clients in connection with government, congressional and internal investigations, the firm said on its website.

Greg Jacob

Jacob, who is set to testify on June 16, was in the Capitol when the building was stormed. He hustled through the Senate chamber to a secure location.

In previous testimony to the Jan. 6 panel he described efforts by John Eastman, a lawyer for Trump, to convince Pence to overturn the election in the days leading up to the attack.

“He came in and said, ‘I’m here asking you to reject the electors,’” Jacob told the committee in February, referring to a Jan. 5 meeting with Eastman. “That’s how he opened at the meeting.”

At O’Melveny, he represents financial services companies and other employers on class actions and other litigation on labor and employment matters, according to the firm’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at sskolnik@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com