Pence hires ex-Bush Labor official Jacob as new legal counsel

Greg Nash

Vice President Pence is hiring a former George W. Bush administration official to serve as his office’s legal counsel.

Pence’s office confirmed Monday that Gregory Jacob will take over the role being vacated by Matt Morgan, who is joining the Trump reelection campaign as director of litigation and legislation.

“Greg is a man of deep professional experience, but also one of personal integrity and character, with a heart for helping those most in need,” Marc Short, chief of staff to the vice president, said in a statement. “He’s going to be a perfect fit in the Vice President’s office.”

Jacob previously worked in a variety of positions in the George W. Bush administration, including managing the Department of Labor’s litigation portfolio as solicitor of labor.

He also worked for a year on the White House Domestic Policy Council and spent roughly three years as an attorney adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice.

Jacob has worked in private practice since 2009, most recently as a partner at O’Melveny and Myers. He has defended clients against Department of Labor investigations during that time. Jacob has also focused throughout his career on cases involving child abuse, arguing for increased protections for victims and working hundreds of hours a year pro bono on child advocacy cases.

Matt Morgan, the outgoing counsel, will help the campaign prepare for Election Day operations. He has worked for Pence since 2017.

Jacob joins Pence’s office at a critical juncture for the vice president. Pence has been tasked with leading the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has thus far infected more than 3,000 Americans and killed roughly 70 people in the U.S.

While Jacob is not specifically being tasked with working on coronavirus matters, the government’s response is certain to overlap with his portfolio given the vice president’s office has been handling much of the messaging and coordination.

Pence has been front-and-center during the response, appearing at near daily press briefings and offering a calm and measured approach in contrast to President Trump’s often free-wheeling and occasionally misleading comments about the virus.

Tags Donald Trump Gregory Jacob Matt Morgan
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