Stefan Passantino and two other lawyers are parting ways with Michael Best & Friedrich after an allegation that Passantino advised a Trump White House staffer to mislead the House Jan. 6 committee.
The Milwaukee-based law firm “separated our relationship” with Passantino, Michael Best said in a statement. Passantino had said Dec. 21 he was on leave from the firm.
The contracts for two other lawyers at the firm, Justin Clark and Alex Cannon, weren’t renewed for 2023, according to a person familiar with the matter. The two lawyers, who worked with Passantino on Trump-related matters, had been on leave and their exits had been in the works for months, the person said.
The Jan. 6 panel last week released testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson in which she claimed Passantino advised her to mislead the committee about certain events. Hutchinson switched lawyers before testifying publicly at a committee hearing last June.
Passantino has denied the claims. He said last week that he “believed Ms. Hutchinson was being truthful and cooperative with the committee throughout the several interview sessions in which I represented her.”
Passantino, who once served as the Trump White House’s top ethics lawyer, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Michael Best declined to comment beyond its statement. Clark and Cannon, each of whom worked on Trump’s 2020 campaign, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The law firm and Passantino mutually agreed to split, according to a person familiar with the matter. Passantino will move his sole focus to Elections LLC, the political law shop he founded with Clark in 2019, according to the person. Cannon also does work for Elections LLC.
Elections LLC has earned roughly $2 million from Trump-affiliated political action committees this year, according to federal disclosures, including a $1 million payment in May from the Make America Great Again PAC.
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