Attorney On Call With Trump And Georgia Officials Resigns From Law Firm
Republican attorney Cleta Mitchell resigned from her law firm Tuesday after advising President Trump on a phone call with Georgia state officials during which he urged them to find evidence that could overturn the state's November election results.
Mitchell resigned her partnership from the Washington, D.C., office of Foley & Lardner following criticism of her involvement in the Jan. 2 phone call between Trump and Georgia officials.
In a statement issued earlier this week, the law firm said it was "concerned" by Mitchell's participation in the call between the president and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other state officials, which some legal experts have suggested may have violated state and federal law. During the call, Trump urged the officials to "find" more than 11,000 ballots from the Nov. 3 presidential election — enough to swing the state in his favor — and continued to push the debunked notion that the election results were fraudulent.
Foley & Lardner said in its statement Monday that the firm had a policy not to represent any party in connection with matters related to elections.
"Our policy did allow our attorneys to participate in observing election recounts and similar actions on a voluntary basis in their individual capacity as private citizens so long as they did not act as legal advisers," it said.
After The Washington Post released audio from the call earlier this week, the firm said that it was "working to understand" Mitchell's role in the call.
Mitchell said in an email to clients and friends that she was leaving Foley & Lardner and blamed her departure on "a massive pressure campaign in the last several days mounted by leftist groups via social media and other means against me, my law firm and clients of the law firm," according to The New York Times.
In the email, she vowed to "redouble" her efforts on "election integrity."
Her profile on the Foley & Lardner's website had already been deleted by Tuesday night.
Mitchell was an active participant during the Saturday call with Trump. She complained to Raffensperger that she asked for voting records from his office but hadn't received them. She also claimed that more than 4,000 people voted in Georgia despite having moved out of the state. On the call, Raffensperger's general counsel, Ryan Germany, said that data was incorrect.
He added that, "Every one we've been through are people that lived in Georgia, moved to a different state, but then moved back to Georgia legitimately," according to transcripts of the call.
Mitchell, 70, served as a Democratic representative in the Oklahoma House in the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, however, she has represented Republican candidates and causes, according to Politico.
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