January 16, 2021

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Lawyer quits firm after supporting Trump on phone call seeking to overturn Biden win in Georgia – CNBC

2 min read

Cleta Mitchell, Partner Foley and Lardner LLP.

Pablo Martinez | AP

A conservative attorney on Tuesday resigned from her law firm after blowback over her role backing President Donald Trump during a phone call pressuring Georgia’s top election official to overturn President-elect Joe Biden‘s win in that state.

The lawyer, Cleta Mitchell, had been a partner in the firm of Foley & Lardner, which on Monday said it was investigating her involvement in the call by Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

During that call, Mitchell supported the president’s challenging of the election results.

Foley & Lardner said on Monday that its attorneys were not supposed to be representing “any party” related to the presidential election results.

In a statement Tuesday, the firm said, “Cleta Mitchell has informed firm management of her decision to resign from Foley & Lardner effective immediately.”

“Ms. Mitchell concluded that her departure was in firm’s best interests, as well as in her own personal best interests,” the firm said. “We thank her for her contributions to the firm and wish her well.”

Mitchell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mitchell’s role on the call to Raffensperger, and her support of Trump’s efforts to reverse his electoral loss, came to light Sunday, when The Washington Post reported details of the conversation and published a transcript of it.

During that call, Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” nearly 12,000 votes for Trump, to make up his margin of defeat to Biden.

The president also made what Raffensperger’s office has said were false claims about purported voting irregularities, which Trump argued proves he was swindled out of a win in Georgia.

On Monday, Foley & Lardner issued a statement saying that the firm “is not representing any parties seeking to contest the results of the presidential election.”

The firm also noted that in November, it had “made a policy decision not to take on any representation of any party in connection with matters related to the presidential election results.”

“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,” the firm said Monday.

“We are aware of, and are concerned by, Ms. Mitchell’s participation in the January 2 conference call and are working to understand her involvement more thoroughly.”

Congress is set to sign off on Biden’s Electoral College victory on Wednesday.

Trump and a number of his allies in Congress oppose that certification.

A group of Republican senators and House members plan to object to the certification, but they have little chance of succeeding in blocking Biden from taking office on Jan. 20.

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