Trump Taps Wall Street Lawyer Jay Clayton For SEC Chair

Evan Vucci/AP

President-elect Donald Trump announced on Wednesday his nomination of Jay Clayton, a Wall Street lawyer who has represented titans such as Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns, to head the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Trump praised Clayton as a “highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law” in a statement released Wednesday morning.

“He will ensure our financial institutions can thrive and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time,” Trump said. “We need to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American businesses, and restore oversight of the financial industry in a way that does not harm American workers.”

Clayton thanked Trump for the “opportunity” in the same statement and promised to set policy that encourages job creation and “carefully monitor” the financial sector if confirmed to the role.

Clayton is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and has represented Wall Street giants including Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital and Bear Stearns. Those bona fides make Clayton the latest in a line of Wall Street heavy hitters and billionaires Trump has nominated to his Cabinet, despite his campaign promises to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. of corporate influence and establishment elites.

He also co-authored an article titled “We Don’t Need a Crisis to Act Unitedly Against Cyber Threats” for Knowledge@Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania business school’s online business analysis journal. The subject of information security rocketed back into the limelight after the Obama administration announced sanctions against individuals and entities associated with Russian intelligence that it believes were involved in election-related hacking.

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