The White House. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi

Pat Cipollone, the Trump White House counsel and a longtime Washington lawyer, reported earning more than $6.7 million since 2017 as he advised clients including President Donald Trump, Radio Ingraham LLC and Sony Entertainment, according to a newly released financial disclosure.

Cipollone Pat A. Cipollone

Cipollone resigned from Washington-based Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner in December 2018 to lead the White House counsel’s office. He succeeded Donald McGahn, who has since returned to Jones Day. Cipollone had been a partner at Stein Mitchell since 2012.

Financial disclosures offer a peek inside compensation schemes at big law firms and boutiques, and they can show the scope of legal services. The disclosures are mandatory for many high-level executive posts and for political appointees.

For the period 2017 through 2018, Cipollone said he received $6,715,052 from Stein Mitchell and $59,598 from Kirkland & Ellis, where he formerly had been a partner. Stein Mitchell, which currently has 14 partners, last year touted Cipollone’s “substantial expertise in defamation counseling and litigation on behalf of corporations, organizations and public figures, including prepublication negotiations and/or litigation with major media organizations.”

His financial disclosure said he provided legal services to, among other clients, the law firm Dentons; the Recording Industry Association of America; Sony Entertainment Group; Universal Music Group; Warner Music Group Inc.; and the space contractor Orbital ATK, which has been acquired by Northrop Grumman Corp.

Cipollone and Laura Ingraham, host of the Fox News talk show The Ingraham Angle, are friends. Ingraham, a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, said about Cipollone in October 2018: “Whip smart, dedicated, tough but fair-minded, respected by both sides of the aisle. (And a great friend to many—[including] me.)” The Washington Post last year reported that Ingraham called Cipollone a “spiritual mentor” before her conversion to Catholicism in 2002.

Cipollone said he provided legal services to two confidential clients whose identities he did not reveal. In some instances, lawyers have noted on financial disclosures that a particular individual or corporate client is subject to a non-public investigation.

At the time he joined the White House, Cipollone resigned from several uncompensated director posts at religious nonprofits, including the Sanctuary of Culture Foundation; the Catholic Information Center; and the Basilica of the Immaculate Concepcion.

McGahn, who was Trump’s first White House counsel, returned to Jones Day in March. He had been making $179,700 as White House counsel. McGahn reported earning $2.4 million in Jones Day partner compensation on a financial disclosure in 2017.

McGahn played a central role in the report Special Counsel Robert Mueller III prepared about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The report, released last Thursday, provided new details on the discord between McGahn and Trump. Indeed, the report provided a window into Trump’s reported efforts to have McGahn fire the special counsel—an episode Mueller examined as part of his probe of whether Trump obstructed justice.


Cipollone’s financial disclosure is posted below:



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C. Ryan Barber contributed reporting from Washington.