Trump said to weigh aide’s husband for top legal job

Ben Bain
Bloomberg News

President-elect Donald Trump is considering George Conway, a long-time corporate lawyer and the husband of senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, to be U.S. solicitor general, the government’s top appellate lawyer, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Conway, who’s spent more than two decades as a partner at New York corporate legal powerhouse Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, has made a career representing high-profile clients from the National Football League to tobacco maker Philip Morris, according to his biography on the firm’s website. He wasn’t directly involved in Trump’s presidential campaign, which was managed by his wife.

George Conway didn’t immediately respond to a telephone and email message seeking comment.

Conway is a 1987 graduate of Yale Law School, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal. According to his biography he was a law clerk to federal appeals court Judge Ralph K. Winter Jr.

He had a minor role in the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the husband of Trump’s election opponent, Hillary Clinton. According to an October profile of Kellyanne Conway in the New Yorker, George Conway wrote a Supreme Court brief in the case involving Paula Jones’ sexual harassment suit against Clinton. That opened the path to Clinton’s impeachment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted by the Senate.

The solicitor general reports to the attorney general and the post is subject to Senate confirmation.

Conway would represent an unusual choice for solicitor general. His law firm biography lists only one Supreme Court case he has argued — a 2010 dispute involving the overseas reach of federal securities law. People who have held the post previously have generally had extensive Supreme Court experience, or, like former Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan, served in a prominent academic position.

Conway’s appointment also would raise questions about the level of White House involvement with the solicitor general’s office given his wife’s position in a Trump administration. Although solicitors general ultimately answer to the president, they traditionally make most of their decisions independently of the White House.