Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation team will be bolstered by his former law clerks, who are working at the White House, in the Justice Department and outside of government advocating on his behalf.
Some of Kavanaugh’s onetime clerks are returning to government work or are headed to new roles within the Trump administration to support their former boss, according to people with knowledge of the judicial selection process.
Zina Bash, who previously worked on the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, confirmed she is returning to the White House to join Kavanaugh’s confirmation team. Bash said she would be assisting Kavanaugh as he prepares for his Senate meetings.
Alongside Bash, former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, senior of counsel at Covington & Burling in Washington, is serving as Kavanaugh’s “lead sherpa” in preparation for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
Sources point to Claire McCusker Murray, formerly a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, as another lawyer that will help run the confirmation effort from inside the White House Counsel’s Office. Murray, who was named associate counsel to the president last May, clerked for Kavanaugh and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and serves under White House counsel Don McGahn. She did not respond to requests for comment.
Candice Wong, a former Kavanaugh clerk now working as an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., is expected to take a new role in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy this week, according to a source with knowledge of the move. OLP works with the White House and Senate to assist in the confirmation process. Wong did not respond to a request for comment.
Outside the White House and DOJ, other former Kavanaugh clerks who mobilized to support his nomination before Monday will remain involved during the confirmation process.
In Washington, Travis Lenkner, managing partner at Keller Lenkner, and Roman Martinez, a Latham & Watkins partner, have helped build Kavanaugh’s crew of supporters outside of the government and are continuing to work in support of the nominee. Porter Wilkinson Wall, a top official at the Smithsonian who formerly practiced law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is also assisting her fellow former Kavanaugh clerks’ efforts. Like Martinez, Wilkinson Wall also clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts.
On Tuesday, 34 of Kavanaugh’s former clerks wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee praising his character and qualifications, as Kavanaugh visited Congress one day after his nomination.
Trump and Senate Republicans have signaled a goal to confirm Kavanaugh before the start of the Supreme Court’s next term in October.