Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has left global megafirm Dentons.
“The firm and Speaker Gingrich have concluded a formal three year relationship. We thank Speaker Gingrich for his contributions to the firm’s client service,” Dentons said in a statement.
Mike McNamara, Dentons’ CEO in the U.S., delivered the news to the firm’s U.S. partnership in an internal email early Monday.
In a statement, Gingrich called Dentons ”a leader in global engagement,” but said that he was “in discussions with various other global law firms” for “a new relationship to be announced shortly.”
He said his multimedia company, Gingrich Productions, would continue to work with clients in the meantime.
Gingrich served in the House for 20 years from Georgia’s 6th District, including four years as Speaker, ending in 1999.
After a failed GOP presidential bid in 2012, Gingrich joined Dentons’ public policy and regulatory practice on June 1, 2015, just ahead of the firm’s July 1 merger with Atlanta-based McKenna, Long & Aldridge. He was recruited by his personal lawyer and old friend, McKenna partner J. Randolph Evans, longtime GOP heavy-hitter.
When Gingrich signed on at Dentons, Evans told ALM he had advised the former Speaker that “he needed a global platform” and suggested the international firm, which Evans and another McKenna partner who’d worked with Gingrich, Stefan Passantino, would soon be joining. Evans did not return a call requesting comment.
Passantino left Dentons to become the Trump administration’s deputy White House counsel for compliance and ethics in January 2017. The president nominated Evans as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg on Sept. 21, and the nomination was approved by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Nov. 1, but he has not yet been confirmed. (He was renominated Jan. 8.)
Evans is on the board of Gingrich Productions, but will resign that position if confirmed as ambassador, according to his July ethics letter to the State Department.
Gingrich boosted Donald Trump in the 2016 elections as a top adviser. He has since served as a senior scientist at Gallup and is the host of “Defending America” an online course featuring six lessons on how to “Defend America From The Left.”
The reasons for Gingrich’s exit remain unclear. The former House Speaker attracted criticism in recent days from the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish groups over comments he made on Fox News that appeared to equate the FBI and the Nazis’ Gestapo.
His departure does not leave Dentons with a deficit of prominent former public officials.
Other high-profile former politicos on Dentons’ government affairs team include another former presidential candidate from the Democratic side, Howard Dean (now a senior adviser at the firm focused on health care policy); former George H.W. Bush aide Eric Tanenblatt; and Ron Kaufman, a former adviser to presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012 as well as to Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and the Republican National Committee.