Reginald Brown of WilmerHale. HANDOUT.
Wilmer’s Reginald Brown ()

Reginald Brown, chairman of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr’s financial institutions group and head of the firm’s congressional investigations practice, has been retained by President Donald Trump’s former top campaign adviser Paul Manafort Jr., according to a source familiar with the matter.

Brown declined to comment when asked about his role representing Manafort, who on Friday said he was willing to appear before members of the House Intelligence Committee to put to rest questions about his alleged ties to Russia.

“Mr. Manafort instructed his representatives to reach out to committee staff and offer to provide information voluntarily regarding recent allegations about Russian interference in the election,” said Jason Maloni, a crisis communications expert recently hired by Manafort. “As Mr. Manafort has always maintained, he looks forward to meeting with those conducting serious investigations of these issues to discuss the facts.”

In Brown, Manafort (pictured right) will have at his side a seasoned advocate for those called to Capitol Hill. The American Lawyer reported in 2009 on Brown’s role leading a Wilmer team representing Bank of America Corp. in hearings before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform related to the financial services giant’s proposed merger with Merrill Lynch. Brown, who also advised former Hewlett-Packard Co. board member George Keyworth II and has handled several high-profile pro bono matters, helped former IRS chief John Koskinen avoid impeachment by the House in December.

The American Lawyer reported earlier this week on hacked text messages from Manafort’s daughter—former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom associate Andrea Manafort Shand—and how they had renewed scrutiny over her father’s work for a former Ukrainian leader with close ties to the Kremlin. The Associated Press subsequently reported on documents that it obtained showing work that Manafort had allegedly done in secret for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska that would advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Manafort, who resigned in August 2016 as Trump’s campaign manager, is a former name partner at lobbying and public affairs firm Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, where he worked with fellow name partner Roger Stone Jr. The FBI is reportedly examining Stone for his potential ties to Russian officials during last year’s U.S. presidential election.

Russia, which has hoped the Trump administration will lift Western sanctions imposed on the country after its annexation of Crimea in 2014, saw yet another lawyer have a freak accident in Moscow this week. (Lawyers in Moscow, both foreign and domestic, are well aware of the unfortunate circumstances that can befall those that run afoul of certain interests.)

Nikolai Gorokhov, a lawyer representing the family of deceased Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, reportedly fell out the fourth or fifth floor window of an apartment building in Moscow. Russian news reports stated that Gorokhov, who is in serious condition, was trying to raise a bathtub into his apartment with a rope at the time of the accident. Others have claimed he was thrown from the roof. Gorokhov’s untimely plunge came one day before he was supposed to appear in a Moscow appeals court as part of a challenge of a lower court ruling against the Magnitsky family.

Magnitsky, who was posthumously found guilty of fraud by a Russian court, saw his death lead to Congress’ passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012. The legislation bars certain Russian individuals from entering the U.S. or owning assets in the country. Russia responded by adopting its own anti-Magnitsky law, a provision of which bans U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children. In early 2013, Russia booted Baker & McKenzie partner and former U.S. Department of Justice attaché Thomas Firestone from the country after he refused to spy for the Kremlin, according to our previous reports.

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