In its latest move gearing up for a round of congressional investigations, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee announced Tuesday that it retained Barry Berke and former Obama White House ethics lawyer Norman Eisen as consultants for the panel.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said Berke and Eisen would work as special oversight counsels, consulting lawmakers in their oversight of the U.S. Justice Department, special counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and other matters that fall within the panel’s purview.
The additions mark the latest, and perhaps most notable, legal hires for the Democratic majority in the House.
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In hiring Berke, currently a partner at New York-based Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, the judiciary committee is bringing on a lawyer known for his experience in criminal law. He represented New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he faced state and federal inquiries into his campaign fundraising for his 2013 run.
Both Berke and Eisen have been vocal critics of the Trump administration, writing opinion columns together on the president’s legal and ethical issues. The duo—along with lawyer Noah Bookbinder—authored a Brookings Institution report, first published in October 2017, teasing out a possible case against the president that he has committed obstruction of justice.
Eisen, who served during the Obama administration as the White House special counsel for ethics and government reform, has also been a thorn in the administration’s side. He co-founded Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a watchdog group that’s taken Trump to court for alleged violations of the Constitution’s anti-corruption provisions.