Business & Practice

Wachtell Litigator George Conway Calls Trump ‘Racist’ in Op-Ed

July 16, 2019, 3:20 PM

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz attorney George Conway penned an op-ed published in the Washington Post late Monday accusing Donald Trump of being “a racist president.”

Conway, who married to counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, wrote the piece in response to Trump’s Sunday tweets about a group of congresswomen, all women of color.

Trump tweeted that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib should all “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

All are American citizens and Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib were born in the United States.

In his op-ed Conway recounts his childhood experiences with racial slurs and an incident where his mother, who immigrated from the Philippines, was told to go back to her country. While he notes that he didn’t initially think the president was a racist, Trump’s latest attacks on the four congresswomen left Conway with no doubt.

“That’s racist to the core,” Conway wrote. “It doesn’t matter what these representatives are for or against— and there’s plenty to criticize them for — it’s beyond the bounds of human decency. For anyone, not least a president.”

He also took Republicans leaders and officeholders to task for their “virtual silence” on Trump’s statements.

“What’s at stake now is more important than judges or tax cuts or regulations, or any policy issue of the day,” he wrote. “What’s at stake are the nation’s ideals, its very soul.”

Conway has been a vocal critic of the president, often taking to Twitter to express his opinions about Trump and his policies. He also co-founded a conservative and libertarian lawyers’ group, “Checks and Balances.”

Conway first joined Wachtell in 1988. He is currently of counsel at the powerhouse firm and focuses his practice on litigation involving antitrust, contracts, M&A and securities. He was one of the lawyers that represented Paula Jones in her lawsuit against former President Bill Clinton.

In early 2017, Conway was considered for the position of solicitor general for the Trump administration as well as assistant attorney general of the Civil Division in the Department of Justice but withdrew from consideration later that summer.

Conway isn’t the only Big Law partner to criticize the President. In June, Georgetown University professor and Hogan Lovells partner Neal Katyal wrote an op-ed published in the New York Times critiquing President Trump’s use of executive privilege.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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