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Jones Day Hires ex-DOJ Lawyer Known for Defending Trump

Aug. 28, 2019, 9:59 PM

Jones Day has hired Brett Shumate, a former top Department of Justice lawyer known for defending the Trump administration in some of its most controversial cases.

Based in Washington, Shumate was formerly a deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s civil division. He joined the government in 2017 from the partnership of Wiley Rein.

Shumate’s courtroom work included defending the Trump administration in an Emoluments Clause claim involving the president’s Washington hotel.

He also argued that Obamacare was unconstitutional and told a Brooklyn federal judge that the government would not extend a deadline regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA. He also took a leading position in the administration’s efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

Jones Day’s ties to the president extend to his 2016 campaign, which the law firm represented.

Led by Don McGahn, who became White House counsel, more than a dozen Jones Day lawyers entered the Trump administration in its early stages. U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco also is a former Jones Day partner.

McGahn rejoined the firm earlier this year and hired another former White House lawyer, Robert Luther III, in June. Jones Day is again representing Trump’s presidential campaign in the run-up to 2020 election.

Shumate will be part of the government regulatory practice at the Cleveland-founded law firm.

“Brett’s experience at the Justice Department, combined with his previous work on behalf of clients, particularly in the telecommunications and tech areas, make him a great addition to our team in Washington,” said McGahn, who now co-leads Jones Day’s global Government Regulation Practice. “The insights and understanding he brings to regulatory matters will immeasurably benefit our clients. I am very pleased Brett is part of our team and I look forward to working with him.”

Jones Day also said on Wednesday it has hired Margaret “Peggy” Blake, a former associate general counsel at the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. Blake will be a Washington-based of counsel in the firm’s financial institutions litigation and regulation practice.

“Peggy’s broad experience, in both public service and in the private sector make her a valuable addition to what is already a highly effective practice,” said Jay Tambe, co-leader of Jones Day’s financial institutions litigation and regulation practice.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at; Rebekah Mintzer at; John Crawley at