Cleta Mitchell, a conservative attorney who was Trump’s adviser on the controversial Georgia call resigned from her partnership at Foley & Lardner. Foley & Lardner is a Milwaukee-based law firm with an attorney count of over 1,000 and a clientele consisting of many prominent and influential corporations.
She resigned as a partner from the firm’s Washington D.C.’s office after her name surfaced publicly for her involvement in the January 02 phone call between President Trump and Georgia state officials. During the call, President Trump asked Georgia State Secretary Brad Raffensperger to find evidence from the 11,780 votes from the November 03 presidential elections to support his confuted agenda that the election results were obtained by fraud. Her presence during the call was also noted by White House Chief of Staff Mike Meadows, who said that although she is not the attorney of record, she has been an early supporter of Trump’s claims.
Mitchell can be heard on the call batting for Trump’s claims as she spoke to Raffensperger, “I think what the President is saying and what we’ve been trying to do is to say, look, the court is not acting on our petition. They haven’t even assigned a single judge, but the people of Georgia and the people of America have a right to know the answers and you have data and records that we don’t have access to. And you keep telling us and making public statements that you investigated this and, you know, nothing to see here.” The requests were rejected by Raffensperger who continuously insisted on the fact that Joe Bidden won the election and that the election results were correct. The call recording was first obtained and reported by The Washington Post.
Mitchell has been an early supporter of Trump’s allegations of fraudulent elections and also played a key role in the incessant efforts made by him to challenge the legality of the elections and reverse Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. However, this is the first time that her efforts to aide Trump in his legal maneuverings were publicly disclosed after her involvement in the phone call came to light. In the past, she has served as a legal adviser for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
In 2011, she represented Trump against allegations of violation of federal election laws when he was accused of accepting illegal contributions from his business. She also advised the National Rifle Association in the 2002 Supreme Court federal finance campaign law case. In a tweet on November 10, 2020, which has been pinned on her twitter account, the former Foley Partner responded to Fox News’ Sandra Smith comments and tweeted, “Sandra Smith thinks Fox News calling the election means Biden is President. Forget that pesky Constitution…..happy to be considered a nutjob because I believe in the rule of law.”
Responding to the controversy, after Mitchell came under fire for her involvement in the call, the firm issued a statement on January 04 stating that it was aware of and concerned by Mitchell’s participation in the January 02 call. It further said that it is working to understand her involvement more thoroughly. The firm statement also said that the firm had made policy decision in November to not take on any representation of any party in relation to matters connected with the presidential election results. A day later, on Tuesday, it announced that the firm management was informed by Cleta Mitchell of her decision to resign from Foley & Lardner with immediate effect. The announcement also said that the decision was made by Mitchell keeping in mind her personal best interests and the firm’s best interests. Later, her profile was removed from the firm’s website.
Mitchell is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma College of law. She joined Foley & Larder in 2001 and was associated with the firm for two decades. While at the firm, she was a member of the firm’s Public Affairs Practice. Her practice areas included state and federal election and campaign finance laws, and lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure compliance issues. In a personal email written to her clients and friends, Mitchell confirmed her resignation from the firm and said that looking at the brazen attacks on conservatives and most especially, anyone who supports President Trump, she realizes that a large national law firm is no longer the right place for her.
Many legal experts and White House representatives took to social media to express their concern over the legality of the January 04 call by President Trump and looked at it as a potential violation of state and federal election laws.