Biden Picks Attorneys Tasked With Undoing Trump Ethics Legacy (1)

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Courtney Rozen

President-elect Joe Biden appointed more than 20 attorneys to his attorney’s office in the White House where they will help the new president revise ethical standards and make his mark on the Bundesbank.

The lawyers draw on expertise in civil rights, health and environmental law. All topics that Biden also addressed will be focal points in his administration. They offer a wide range of corporate, corporate and government experience, including President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, and companies such as WilmerHale LLP, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

The group includes Paige Herwig, who advised former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Oversight and Reform Attorney Janet Kim, and Lauren Moore, attorney for elected Vice President Kamala Harris on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The attorneys will work under Dana Remus, a former White House ethics attorney who specializes in legal ethics at the University of North Carolina before being named Biden’s White House attorney.

“This skilled and resilient legal team will ensure that this administration is accountable and always at the service of the American people,” Biden said in a statement to Bloomberg Law via email.

Most of the ethical requirements that guide the US government can be traced back to the Watergate scandal. As a presidential candidate, Biden called for new ethical laws that respond to Trump presidency practices, such as expanding disclosure requirements for lobbying and restricting officials’ ability to transfer assets to family member-controlled trusts.

The law firm, which is often tasked with reviewing and recommending trial candidates, will also be at the forefront as the Biden administration seeks to counter ideological change at the Bundesbank cemented by Trump and the Senate Republicans. Trump made more than 230 life-long court appointments in four years, including three Supreme Court justices.

With Herwig, the Biden White House will have at least four employees with a connection to Facebook Inc. Jessica Hertz, who previously worked on the social network’s regulatory team, will serve as the staff secretary, and Louisa Terrell, who ran public policy for Facebook, will become the director of legislative affairs. Biden Coronavirus Coordinator Jeff Zients left the Facebook board earlier this year.

ethics

Several of the arriving attorneys bring credentials of government integrity and investigations.

Two of the lawyers, Larry Schwartztol and Caroline McKay, worked for an organization founded by former Obama administration attorneys to limit the exploitation of the Trump presidential power.

Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo, who will be Associate Counsel, served as an ethics advisor in the same office towards the end of the Obama administration. She currently works for Democrats on the House Committee, overseeing the government’s response to the coronavirus.

Some of the attorneys, such as Herwig, Moore, and Tona Boyd, will have experience working on judicial nominations on Capitol Hill. Boyd worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee member, Cory Booker (DN.J.). Herwig worked for the former ranking member of the committee, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Moore once practiced at WilmerHale, as did other White House lawyers in Biden whom Maury Riggan and Michael Posada chose. They will join two of the firm’s partners who were appointed alternates at the law firm in December, and WilmerHale partner Alejandro Mayorkas is Biden’s candidate to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

The list of employees also includes those who have the expertise to deliver on Biden’s pledge to fight climate change.

Megan Ceronsky, who will serve as associate counsel, served in the Obama administration as it moved from extensive climate change legislation on Capitol Hill to climate action that the executive could take on its own, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan . The CPP, Obama’s most important domestic climate policy, aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32% by 2030 compared to 2005.

These carbon limits were maintained by the Supreme Court in 2016 and were later severely weakened by the Trump administration, although they could be tightened again by the Biden administration.

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