The law firm of Cleta Mitchell, the conservative lawyer who took part in President Donald Trump’s jaw-dropping phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday, distanced itself from the attorney on Monday.
The firm, Foley & Lardner LLP, issued a press release emphasizing its policy “not to take on any representation of any party in connection with matters related to the presidential election results” after Mitchell was revealed to have participated in the call in which Trump attempted to pressure Raffensperger to overturn Georgia’s election results.
“Our policy did allow our attorneys to participate in observing election recounts and similar actions on a voluntary basis in their individual capacity as private citizens so long as they did not act as legal advisers,” the firm said. “We are aware of, and are concerned by, Ms. Mitchell’s participation in the January 2 conference call and are working to understand her involvement more thoroughly.”
In a full recording of the call published by the Washington Post, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows introduces Mitchell as one of the two attorneys who “represent the President.”
Throughout the call, Mitchell backs Trump as he spouts a medley of bogus conspiracy theories about voter fraud while pushing Raffensperger to “find” votes that would undo President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Georgia, where the Democrat beat Trump by 11,779 votes.
“All we have to do, Cleta, is find 11,000-plus votes,” the President tells Mitchell at one point.
During the conversation, Mitchell demands that Raffensperger provide “records” that the Trump team claims would prove that the election results were fraudulent, something that the President has repeatedly asserted without evidence.
Mitchell’s involvement in the President’s pressure campaign isn’t the first time the GOP lawyer has gotten mixed up in a wild Trump scandal: As a former attorney for the National Rifle Association (NRA), Mitchell was identified by House Intel Committee Democrats in 2018 as a witness in their inquiry into whether Russia had funneled money into the NRA to help the Trump 2016 campaign.
In a fiery email, Mitchell told TPM at the time that there was “nothing NOTHING to this entire Russia collusion story.”
“It is a complete fabrication by the left and their supplicants in the liberal media,” she wrote. “Scumbags. All of it.”
Mitchell also represented Senate GOP candidate Christine O’Donnell in 2010 when the candidate was accused of misusing more than $20,000 in campaign funds. Mitchell accused the watchdog organization that had brought filed the complaint against O’Donnell of being a “left-wing front group” funded by Democratic donor George Soros, a bogeyman among conservatives.