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Trump Org. asks Judiciary panel to cease investigations: report
A lawyer for the Trump Organization has asked the House Judiciary Committee to stop any and all investigations into the company, arguing that there is an alleged conflict of interest with one of the lawyers consulting with the Democratic-led panel, The Washington Post reported.
Lawyer Alan Futerfas reportedly asserted in a letter on Monday that the panel must "cease and desist from any and all activities that are adverse to the Company" because it hired Berry Berke, a lawyer who works for a law firm that has previously represented the Trump Organization on a range of matters. This crossover, Futerfas argues, disqualifies the investigation from including the company.
"This state of affairs violates recognized ethical obligations and irreparably taints the Committee's work," Futerfas wrote Monday in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the Post reported.
Earlier this month, Nadler announced the addition of Berke and Norman Eisen - two vocal critics of President Trump - to the committee legal staff. Both are viewed as top attorneys who will help Democrats act as a check on the administration.
Berke has written extensively with Eisen on obstruction of justice and other potential legal exposures involving Trump. He is seen as a powerful litigator with vast experience.
Nadler said at the time that the pair will help examine a "range of issues" tied to the president and his administration, including possible corruption, ethics violations and obstruction of justice.
A spokesman for Nadler did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment. Futerfas also demanded that Nadler fire Berke as well as turn over any of his correspondence with the panel, the Post reported.
Berke's law firm, Kramer Levin, pushed back on Futerfas, calling his assertion "baseless."
"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," the law firm said in a statement to the Post, adding that Berke's consulting work for the panel "complies fully with all applicable ethical rules, does not pose any conflicts of interest and respects any obligations the firm may have."
Kramer Levin said in a statement that there is no crossover between the work Berke is doing and the work the law firm has previously done for the company.
Updated at 2:38 p.m.