Corporate law firm Crowell & Moring is calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office and urging other large firms to make the same demand, saying he is a “reckless and wanton threat to the Constitution” following violent protests at the U.S. Capitol.
Crowell, a Washington-founded firm and lobbying shop not known for being overtly political, on Thursday became what appears to be the first large law firm to urge that Trump be removed rather than serve his remaining 13 days. Crowell joins the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based industry group typically aligned with Republicans, which called for Vice President Mike Pence to “seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”
Crowell Chair Phil Inglima told Bloomberg Law he’s trying to enlist a number of large D.C. firms in the effort. He said support for the statement went beyond his practice’s 12-member board to many other firm lawyers and that he is optimistic others will sign on.
Trump’s actions “actually imperil the security of our country,” Inglima said. “It’s not a partisan issue. It’s our Constitution at stake.”
The top two Democrats in Congress—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.)—on Thursday also called for Trump’s removal.
Crowell issued a statement calling for Trump’s removal the morning after the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol Wednesday after he urged them to march there. The violent protest came as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win, a result Trump repeatedly refused to acknowledge, claiming without evidence the election was stolen.
The riot “was the direct and predictable result of a rally summoned by the President, at which he reinforced false claims of a rigged election that have been rejected or outright disproven by every public and judicial review of our November 2020 presidential election,” the firm’s dozen-member management board said in a statement. “It was a riot incited by the President’s own words addressing that rally, and then excused by his words after it.”
Crowell specifically called for Pence and cabinet members to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, “and to declare to the leaders of Congress that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Inglima said he’s launched a campaign to reach out to other law firm leaders within the AmLaw 200 leading firms. He said he’s already sent notices to about a dozen firms within the “D.C. hub” of firms with a strong presence in Washington.
Firm spokeswoman Rebecca Carr added, “We anticipate that some may not choose to sign onto the statement or agree with its specific requested action, and we respect that choice. This is not meant to be a statement for every one of our partners and lawyers.”
In addition to Inglima, Crowell’s management board includes Peter Eyre and Dan Forman, co-chairs of the firm’s sizeable government contracts group.
Several other leading firms have chimed in with statements of concern following the violent clash, including Jenner & Block, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Winston & Strawn, and Perkins Coie—home to partner Marc Elias, a leading election litigator with the Democratic side. None of the firms have called for Trump’s removal.
After breaking away from Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in 1979, Crowell established itself as a Washington-centered government contracts and regulatory law powerhouse.
More than four decades later, the firm has successfully diversified, in part by bulking up its offices in New York, California, and London. Its lobbying clients include Lowe’s Companies Inc., Prudential Financial, Blackstone Group, and Cardinal Health.