Federal Government

Federalist Society lawyers deemed too timid for future Trump administration by ex-president's allies

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Donald Trump

For some allies of former President Donald Trump, the phrase “Federalist Society” has become a slur that is “shorthand for a kind of lawyerly weakness,” according to the New York Times. Photo from Shutterstock.

Former President Donald Trump had relied on the conservative Federalist Society to fill executive branch legal positions and advise on judicial nominees. But some of Trump’s allies view the group’s conservative elite lawyers as too timid to carry out his agenda.

Trump became disillusioned with the conservative lawyers who opposed his bid to overturn the 2020 election and raised legal concerns about some of his proposals, including the migrant family-separation policy, the New York Times reports.

Now, for some Trump allies, the phrase “Federalist Society” has become a slur that is “shorthand for a kind of lawyerly weakness,” the newspaper reports.

People close to Trump want lawyers who will carry out “America First” policies that could include opposition to legal and illegal immigration, trade protectionism and skepticism about international alliances and overseas military intervention.

Two allies who are seeking lawyers more aligned with Trump are former senior adviser and immigration opponent Stephen Miller and former aide John McEntee, who was tapped to oust insufficiently loyal political appointees.

The New York Times identified two lawyers who might serve in a new Trump administration.

One possibility is Jeffrey Clark, a former Department of Justice official who was accused in the Georgia RICO case of falsely stating in a memo that the DOJ had “identified significant concerns” that affected the 2020 election outcome in multiple states.

Trump had considered installing Clark, a former Kirkland & Ellis partner, as the acting U.S. attorney general.

Another lawyer who could be tapped is Mark Paoletta, who was general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump administration. Paoletta and the agency’s director had proposed that Trump declare a national emergency to get funds for construction of his border wall.

Paoletta told the New York Times that he think that a president “doesn’t need to be so hands-off” with the DOJ.

“A president has every right to direct DOJ to look at items that are his policy priorities and other matters of national importance,” Paoletta said.

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