President Donald Trump will name George Conway III head of the civil division at the U.S. Department of Justice, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Conway is the husband of Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway. He currently practices law at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, a powerhouse law firm based in New York City, where he specializes in securities and corporate law. Earlier rumors suggested the Trump administration was preparing to name him solicitor general, the nation’s top appeals lawyer.
In his capacity as head of the civil division, Conway will have a wide portfolio of responsibility. The civil division defends the federal government in criminal and civil proceedings, pursues fraud prosecutions to recover federal funds, handles complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation, and supervises the removal of illegal aliens. Therefore, he will likely play a significant role in the government’s defense of Trump’s executive order on migrant and refugee entry.
Conway is a graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Review. After graduating he clerked for Judge Ralph Winter on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In the 1990s he wrote a Supreme Court brief concerning Paula Jones’s sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton, and was part of the team of lawyers that ultimately exposed the president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
He has argued one case before the Supreme Court, where he secured a unanimous decision in his favor.
The position requires Senate confirmation. As such, he will have to appear before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to answer questions in the coming weeks.
Washington, D.C.’s top legal practitioners have been effusive in their praise of Conway’s prowess.
“He’s a law geek, and I’ve never seen a better writer,” Lisa Blatt of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer told the National Law Journal’s Tony Mauro.
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