President Donald Trump is considering Washington attorney Pat Cipollone as a possible successor to White House counsel Don McGahn, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN.
Cipollone, a partner at the Washington law firm Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner, is a seasoned litigator and former Justice Department official who served during President George H.W. Bush’s administration. But he came to know Trump after advising the President and his legal team concerning the special counsel’s investigation, a source familiar with the matter said.
The Washington Post first reported that Trump is considering Cipollone for the White House counsel position.
Cipollone becomes the second person whose name has been floated as a potential McGahn replacement. White House attorney Emmet Flood, who handles the White House’s response to the special counsel’s investigation, is also a top contender to succeed McGahn.
Trump announced earlier this week that McGahn will make his exit after Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation process ends.
Cipollone did not immediately return a request for comment. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: “We have no personnel announcements at this time.”
Jay Sekulow, counsel to the President, praised Cipollone as a “brilliant attorney.”
“I have had the privilege to work with him and can attest to his skill, integrity and knowledge of the law. If selected by the President, he would make an outstanding White House counsel,” Sekulow said.
Cipollone’s law firm notes that he is experienced in “a wide variety of cases, including complex maters” such as class action lawsuits, regulatory disputes involving federal agencies, congressional investigations and financial matters.
Cipollone also has “substantial expertise in defamation counseling and litigation,” according to his law firm biography.
Trump could also choose to keep Flood in his position handling the response to the special counsel’s investigation while bringing in another attorney to handle the more traditional tasks of the White House counsel, particularly if Republicans lose the House and Democrats launch a series of investigations into the White House.
CNN’s Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report.