The House Judiciary Committee—a panel at the forefront of efforts to investigate President Donald Trump—has signed up two prominent lawyers with expertise in government ethics and white-collar crime.
Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Feb. 12 that Norm Eisen, a vocal Trump critic, and Barry Berke will serve as “consulting counsels” to the panel.
Committees are gearing up multiple investigations of the Trump administration now that Democrats control the House, and the Judiciary panel attracts extra attention because it would play a leading role if there’s any move to impeach the president.
Nadler, a New York Democrat, said Eisen and Berke will focus on issues tied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and any collusion with people close to Trump and other matters related to the Justice Department.
Eisen served as a special assistant for ethics and government reform under President Barack Obama and was a co-founder of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. He’s also an expert on the Constitution’s “emoluments” clause, which has been invoked by critics of the benefits Trump gains from his Washington hotel and other business holdings.
Berke is an expert on federal criminal law, including public corruption, banking, tax fraud and insider-trading cases. He’s been involved with cases involving clients tied to Deutsche Bank AG, which was long a top lender to Trump’s businesses. He also represented Bernard Kerik, the former police commissioner of New York City, in a criminal corruption case in the Southern District of New York.
“This is a critical time in our nation’s history,” Nadler said in a statement. “The president of the United States faces numerous allegations of corruption and obstruction. His conduct and crude statements threaten the basic legal, ethical, and constitutional norms that maintain our democratic institutions.”
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