Law Firm Rebukes Trump Org Claim Of Conflict In Lawyer’s Work For House Committee

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 7: Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., arrives to conduct the House Judiciary Committee markup of a resolution authorizing issuance of a subpoena to Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker o... UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 7: Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., arrives to conduct the House Judiciary Committee markup of a resolution authorizing issuance of a subpoena to Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) MORE LESS

The law firm of a lawyer recently hired by the House Judiciary Committee said that the Trump Organization had “grossly misstated the facts” in claiming that the hiring created a conflict of interest.

The statement from the firm Kramer Levin came after a Trump Org. attorney wrote the committee Monday demanding that it halt any investigation into the company.
Trump Org. attorney Alan Futerfas said that the committee’s recently hired legal advisor Barry Burke works at a law firm at which Trump Org. has been and continues to be a client.

However the firm, Kramer Levin, said in a statement that firm’s work for Trump Org “has involved only minor tasks for single purpose companies” and that none of the work “is related to the work Mr. Berke will be performing for the Committee.”

“No lawyer at the firm is currently working on any Trump-affiliated matter,” the firm said. “In making its baseless accusations, the letter that was submitted on behalf of the Trump Organization to the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees grossly misstated the facts of our prior representations and how the applicable ethical rules apply to those facts.”

The statement also said that Berke’s role on the committee “complies fully with all applicable ethical rules, does not pose any conflicts of interest and respects any obligations the firm may have.”

The Washington Post first reported the letter, which says there was “little question” that the committee was engaging in matters “adverse” to the Trump Organization.

“This state of affairs violates recognized ethical obligations and irreparably taints the Committee’s work,” Futerfas said.

The company and its current and former employees “respectfully demand that the Committee cease and desist from all investigative or other activities adverse to the Company,” Futerfas said.

A spokesperson for the Judiciary Committee majority said that Berke was serving a consultant for the committee in his personal capacity and that the “assertions in the Trump letter are without merit.”

The letter requests that work on probes into the Trump Organization are put on hold until the committee hands over any communications Berke has had with the committee, as well as any work product he produced for it.

Read the Futerfas letter  and the statement from Kramer Levin below.

The statement from Kramer Levin:

“Barry Berke’s role as a consultant to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives complies fully with all applicable ethical rules, does not pose any conflicts of interest and respects any obligations the firm may have. Mr. Berke’s work for the Committee is in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the firm, which will receive no compensation for Mr. Berke’s services or provide any legal or other support.

None of the work that the firm has done for Trump-affiliated entities is related to the work Mr. Berke will be performing for the Committee. Indeed, for the past several years the firm’s work has involved only minor tasks for single purpose companies, such as pro forma amendments to condominium offering plans that date back more than a decade or the clearing up of minor building violations for management companies.

No lawyer at the firm is currently working on any Trump-affiliated matter. In making its baseless accusations, the letter that was submitted on behalf of the Trump Organization to the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees grossly misstated the facts of our prior representations and how the applicable ethical rules apply to those facts.

By performing public service, our partner is following in the finest traditions of the legal profession.”

The letter from Futerfas:

Dear Reader,

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