02:27 - Source: CNN
Trump claims Comey memos show no obstruction
Washington CNN —  

James Comey has hired Patrick Fitzgerald, a former US attorney and personal friend of his, to represent him, Fitzgerald’s office confirmed Wednesday.

Fitzgerald’s office said he had been a part of Comey’s legal team since last May, around the time he was fired as FBI director by President Donald Trump.

The inclusion of Fitzgerald on Comey’s legal team was first reported on Tuesday by Talking Points Memo.

“He’s been representing me since I was fired,” Comey told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday.

Comey and Fitzgerald’s friendship dates back to their time working in the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Fitzgerald would go on to be appointed US attorney for Northern District of Illinois in 2001 by President George W. Bush.

In 2003, when he was deputy attorney general, Comey appointed Fitzgerald as special counsel to investigate the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

“I chose Mr. Fitzgerald, my friend and former colleague, based on his sterling reputation for integrity and impartiality,” Comey had said then of Fitzgerald, and described him as “Eliot Ness with a Harvard law degree and a sense of humor.”

The investigation led to Scooter Libby’s conviction in 2007 of perjury and obstruction of justice. Libby, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, was pardoned earlier this month by Trump.

As the top federal prosecutor in Chicago, Fitzgerald took down two former Illinois governors, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, sending them both to prison for corruption charges.

He served as lead counsel in United States v. Usama bin Laden, in which several defendants were convicted for the 1998 terrorist bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He participated in the trial of United States v. Omar Abdel Rahman, the Egyptian-born cleric who served a life sentence for his role in plotting the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center in New York.

He also assisted in the case against mafia kingpin James Gambino in the 1990s.

Fitzgerald is currently a partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.