President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle has a client list stocked with some of the biggest U.S. corporate names, according to newly disclosed financial records.
Brian Moran, of counsel to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Seattle, reported working with Union Carbide Corp., Microsoft Corp., eBay Inc., Pfizer Inc., Dow Agrosciences Inc., Lyft Inc. and dozens of other corporate and government agency clients.
U.S. attorney nominees and other executive agency picks are required to file public financial disclosures, documents that offer a window into the clients and compensation practices of some of the country’s largest law firms.
Moran reported a salary of $700,000 for 2017 and part of 2018, according to a disclosure the U.S. Office of Government Ethics released on Tuesday.
Before joining Orrick in 2013, Moran was a 15-year veteran of the Washington state Attorney General’s Office. He was a top legal adviser to then-Republican Attorney General Robert McKenna, and the two now work together in Orrick’s public policy group. Moran also served as a Kitsap County, Washington, deputy prosecutor, where his trial cases included 35 homicides and three death penalty charges, according to an Orrick biography.
His practice at Orrick has focused on attorneys general investigations and corporate regulations. Moran joined McKenna in 2014 in lobbying their former state colleagues on behalf of client T-Mobile, which wanted to block competitors from acquiring a larger stake in the wireless spectrum, according to The New York Times. McKenna and Moran drafted a letter of support for T-Mobile’s position and convinced Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, to circulate it among other states’ prosecutors, according to the Times, which acquired a series of internal emails.
Moran and McKenna were also involved in Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s fight to obtain internal Google Inc. documents detailing how the search engine handles ads for prescription drug sales and pirated video content. Orrick’s clientele included Google rival Microsoft.
Google sued to quash Hood’s records demand and in doing so submitted to a federal court emails from Moran and McKenna offering to share research on Google’s practices with the Mississippi attorney general. Other emails show Moran working with Hood and others on a strategy to pigeonhole state attorneys general attending a 2014 conference about the need to investigate Google.
Hood withdrew his subpoena in April 2016 and Google dropped its lawsuit three months later. Orrick’s attorneys have not publicly explained their involvement in Hood’s actions.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has not scheduled a vote yet on Moran’s nomination, which was submitted in May. Moran said last month he was “honored and humbled” by the nomination.
If confirmed, Moran will join other U.S. attorneys on the West Coast grappling with conflicting marijuana laws and policies in cannabis-legal states. U.S. Attorney Billy Williams of the District of Oregon has criticized what he said is an “overproduction” problem in the state and has vowed to crack down on criminal enterprises in the black market. McGregor Scott, U.S. attorney for California’s eastern district and a former Orrick partner, said his enforcement priorities will be illegal growing on federal land, criminal cartels and interstate trafficking.
Federal prosecutor Annette Hayes has been serving as western Washington’s interim U.S. attorney since 2015. She was appointed to the position by then-U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch after Jenny Durkan resigned and opened Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan‘s first Seattle office. Durkan was elected Seattle mayor last year.
We’ve posted Moran’s financial disclosure here: