Some of the Lawyers Who May Fill a Second Trump Administration – US 247 News

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Election Day is a year away, but key allies of former President Donald J. Trump are already thinking about staffing a potential administration, including by filling White House and agency legal positions with aggressive and ideologically like-minded lawyers.

Trump allies are preparing to populate a new administration with a different breed of lawyer — a departure from the guy that stymied part of his first-term agenda and that despite their mainstream conservative credentials are seen as too cautious by people close to the former president. They are seeking lawyers in federal agencies and in the White House committed to his “America First” ideology and willing to use edgy theories to advance his cause.

It is too early to say with any certainty who Mr. Trump would select were he to win a second term starting in 2025. But several conservative nonprofits, staffed by people who are likely to take on senior White House positions if there is a second Trump administration, have been putting together lists of prospects.

At Project 2025, a well-funded effort by the Heritage Foundation to prepare personnel and policy for the next conservative administration, John McEntee, one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted aides, is part of a team searching for potential lawyers.

A person familiar with the Heritage 2025 project said it was listing multiple options for every position. Some of the names under early and unofficial consideration are:

  • Joseph E. Schmitz as the Pentagon’s top lawyer. A Bush-era Pentagon inspector general, he argued after the 2020 election that the Supreme Court or the vice president, mike penceshould intervene to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss.

Joseph E. Schmitz in 2004.Credit…Jamie-Andrea Yanak/Associated Press
  • Sarah B. Rogers in the Homeland Security Department. She is a former tobacco lawyer who brought a lawsuit against New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, on behalf of the National Rifle Association as state prosecutors were investigating her finances.

  • Noah B. Peters in the Labor Department. He is a former solicitor for the Federal Labor Relations Authority who is also representing the NRA in its legal troubles in New York. He has written columns critical of Big Tech for conservative websites like The Daily Caller and The Federalist.

  • James R. Lawrence III in the Health and Human Services Department. He is a critic of regulations and vaccine mandates whom Mr. Trump installed as acting chief counsel at the Food and Drug Administration in the waning days of his presidency.

  • Adam Candeub in the Commerce Department. He is a Michigan State University law professor and a critic of Silicon Valley. The Trump White House tried to install Mr. Candeub atop the Justice Department’s antitrust division in 2020, to move the attorney general at the time, William P. Barr, blocked, believing he lacked relevant experience, according to people familiar with the matter. He was later tapped for another role in the Justice Department.

A similar personnel effort is being led by Stephen Miller, a former top political aide in the Trump White House. He has since founded a nonprofit group, America First Legal, and has told colleagues that one of his goals is to spend several years evaluating conservative lawyers to find those who have the “spine” to be effective in an ideologically like-minded 2025 administration.

The lawyers on Mr. Miller’s list, according to a person familiar with him, include:

  • Chad Mizelle, who as former acting general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security in the Trump administration worked closely with Mr. Miller to enact hard-line immigration policies.

  • Jonathan Mitchell, a former solicitor general of Texas who is considered a key architect of a state law that allowed private citizens to enforce anti-abortion restrictions.

  • Aaron Reitz, the chief of staff for Senator Ted Cruz and a former deputy attorney general under Mr. Miller’s ally in Texas, Ken Paxton, who challenged many Biden policies in court. on a conservative podcast in late 2021, Mr. Reitz said that “the sort of hyper-caution that I think too often Republicans demonstrate, not just in the legal space but political and elsewhere, the time for that is over,” and that on Mr. Paxton’s team , “our soldiers are lawyers and our weapons are lawsuits and our tactic is lawfare.”

  • Brent Webster first assistant deputy attorney general in Texas under Mr. Paxton who has been deeply involved in the office’s antitrust cases, and who helped Mr. Paxton file a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

  • Reed Rubinstein, who He worked in the Trump administration in various roles at the Justice, Education and Treasury departmentsand is now at Mr. Miller’s group.

  • John Zadrozny, a former legislative counsel at the Federation for American Immigration Reform who worked in several politically appointed roles in the Trump administration, where he was considered a Miller ally. He is now at America First Legal.