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Trump, Democratic Candidates Lean on Two Big Law Firms (2)

July 16, 2019, 4:11 PMUpdated: July 16, 2019, 8:05 PM

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign paid his go-to law firm nearly $1 million for consulting in the latest quarter, nearly double the amount spent by Democratic presidential candidates on legal services from their leading firm.

Jones Day received nearly $975,000 from Trump’s team in the latest period to raise its fee total this year to more than $2.2 million. Perkins Coie picked up just over $500,000 in the quarter from Democrats vying for the nomination, Federal Election Commission records reviewed by Bloomberg Law show.

Democratic candidates using Perkins Coie include Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar.

The two Big Law firms are reprising their roles from 2016 in the latest election cycle. Cleveland-founded Jones Day and the originally Seattle-based Perkins Coie have become the top firms for presidential candidates, waging battle on opposite sides of the aisle.

Perkins Coie’s political law group is led by Marc Elias, who was Hillary Clinton’s general counsel in 2016. From 2015 to 2016, Perkins Coie won more business from the Clinton campaign, $5.6 million, than Jones Day got from Trump, $3 million. Following Trump’s victory, he hired more than a dozen Jones Day lawyers for his administration, including now-former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

Spokespeople from Jones Day and Perkins Coie didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on second-quarter spending. The filing deadline was Monday.

Joe Biden’s campaign spent nearly $68,000 on legal services from Covington & Burling in the second quarter.

Pete Buttigieg has now spent more than $404,000 on legal services from the Washington office of Jenner & Block, his campaign records show.

Bernie Sanders spent nearly $240,000 on legal fees from Garvey Schubert Barer during the last quarter, FEC data says. Brad Deutsch, a Washington-based partner, has been Sanders’ campaign’s head lawyer since last election cycle.

Gillibrand last quarter spent more than $140,000 on legal services from Washington boutique Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold. Beto O’Rourke last quarter spent $64,000 on “legal services and travel” from Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein & Birkenstock, FEC filings show.

Among the 10 Democratic presidential candidates to have raised the most money through the first quarter, Cory Booker was the lone office-seeker to not list any money on legal services in the second quarter.

(Updates headline, simplifies wording in paragraph 2.)

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