LAWYERING UP

Trump’s Legal Team Is Bigger Than It Looks

Half a dozen attorneys affiliated with the conservative American Center for Law and Justice are helping Jay Sekulow handle Trump's legal matters, including the Russia probe.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump’s legal team is bigger than it looks. Two sources familiar with the president’s team have told The Daily Beast that about half a dozen attorneys affiliated with a conservative non-profit have been helping Jay Sekulow represent the president.

Since the departure of lawyer John Dowd, American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) head Jay Sekulow has become the lone public face of the president’s personal legal team. But he isn’t alone. Andrew Ekonomou, Mark Goldfeder, and Ben Sisney are among the attorneys who have helped him handle legal matters related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, The Daily Beast has learned.

Jay Sekulow told The Daily Beast that everyone working for the president’s legal team is paid through his private law firm, the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group.

Ekonomou is in private practice in Atlanta. He was formerly an acting U.S. attorney and head of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Georgia. He has worked with the ACLJ on their litigation but is not an employee of the organization. He also worked on an amicus brief defending Trump’s travel ban.

Goldfeder is a lecturer at Emory University’s law school and has also worked alongside ACLJ.

Sisney works for ACLJ as senior counsel for litigation and public policy, and former clerk to U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzel. Sisney signed the same amicus brief defending the travel ban that Ekonomou did.

Politico previously reported that these lawyers have assisted Sekulow.

The Daily Beast reported last week that Trump’s legal team has worked out of ACLJ’s Washington D.C. offices.

This all highlights the growing prominence of ACLJ, a 501(c)3 non-profit best known for litigation related to social conservative matters. The non-profit has represented abortion clinic protesters and pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, as well as people opposed to LGBT rights. And it’s currently suing the State Department for documents related to the Uranium One deal, a favorite hobby-horse of Hillary Clinton’s critics.