Bloomberg Law
March 2, 2021, 8:15 PM

Jones Day Nabs Trump’s Former DOJ Criminal Division Acting Chief

Elizabeth Olson

Jones Day added another Trump administration veteran to its team, hiring Brian C. Rabbitt, who served in senior roles at the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission.

He’ll work on criminal and civil matters, and litigation involving federal and state enforcement authorities, as the firm gears up for the Biden administration’s expected focus on investigations and prosecutions.

“Brian is a battle-tested lawyer, knows the inner workings of government,” former White House counsel Don McGahn said in a statement. He “has a well-rounded set of skills in the white collar and financial services arenas.”

Rabbitt is among a group of high-ranking—and sometimes controversial—government attorneys, including McGahn, who have migrated to Jones Day. McGahn heads Jones Day’s government regulation practice in Washington, where Rabbitt will work as a partner.

Rabbitt worked in the Executive Office of the President in 2017, advising on financial and economic regulatory policies, for less than a year before he moved to the SEC.

He worked at the SEC for two years, including a year as senior policy adviser to the chairman. He then moved to the Justice Department in 2019 as chief of staff and senior counselor to then Attorney General William Barr.

In 2020, Rabbitt became acting assistant attorney general for the criminal division, where he oversaw prosecutors responsible for investigating and prosecuting federal crimes such as market manipulation, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and healthcare fraud.

Jones Day’s other recent hires include Eric Dreiband, former assistant attorney general at the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department; Joshua Sterling, ex-head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Chad Mizelle, former acting Department of Homeland Security general counsel; and former Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who is now the partner in charge of Jones Day’s Washington office.

Several of the hires attracted public criticism from organizations including the People’s Parity Project, a group of law students and attorneys, opposed to Trump administration actions and policies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson at
To contact the editor on this story: Chris Opfer at;
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