The lawyer with President Donald Trump when he pressured Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn the state’s election results joined the call despite her firm’s decision not to get involved in election litigation, the firm said.
Foley & Lardner is “working to understand more thoroughly” Cleta Mitchell’s role in the Jan. 2 conference call, spokesman Dan Farrell told Bloomberg Law.
During the call, Trump pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to tip the state’s results in his favor. Raffensperger repeatedly declined the president’s requests, responding that the count narrowly favoring President-elect Joe Biden was accurate.
Mitchell has been under fire since her involvement in the call was reported late Sunday. The Lincoln Project, a group formed by conservative lawyers who oppose Trump, tweeted details about Foley & Lardner, urging people to contact the firm. The group has also targeted law firms Jones Day and Porter Wright for their work on election related lawsuits.
Foley’s Farrell said the firm is not representing any parties seeking to contest results of the presidential election.
“In November, the firm made a policy decision not to take on any representation of any party in connection with matters related to the presidential election results,” Farrell said in a statement. “Our policy did allow our attorneys to participate in observing election recounts and similar actions on a voluntary basis in their individual capacity as private citizens so long as they did not act as legal advisers.”
“We are aware of, and are concerned by, Ms. Mitchell’s participation in the January 2 conference call and are working to understand her involvement more thoroughly,” the statement said.
Mitchell did not immediately respond to a request seeking more information on her role with the president.
In a recording of the call, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows notes Mitchell’s presence and says she is not “the attorney of record.”
Mitchell has represented Trump in the past, including in 2011 when he was accused of violating federal election laws in a previous exploratory presidential run by accepting illegal in-kind contributions from his business, according to her firm.
Based in Washington, Mitchell has represented the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. She also served as co-counsel for the National Rifle Association in a Supreme Court case, McConnell v. FEC, contesting the bipartisan campaign finance reform law passed in 2002 known as the McCain-Feingold Act.