The Washington Post did a profile piece on the top lawyer for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who previously worked in the Justice Department.
Douglas N. Letter is expected to argue two major cases before the High Court involving the separation of powers over President Donald Trump's taxes and financial records. That only adds to the back-to-back hearings he's scheduled to argue Jan. 3 at the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. Those cases involve the secret evidence that Robert Mueller's grand jury had access to.
"After a 40-year career at the Justice Department, defending policies of presidential administrations from both parties, Letter now speaks for the speaker in courtrooms throughout the country while advising House leaders on impeachment," The Post reported.
“Even when he’s got a crushing workload on him and other people would snap, Doug’s reaction is to recognize what an incredible position he’s in,” The Post quoted former Justice Department official David O’Neil. He's previously helped Letter's team fight Trump's 2020 Census question about citizenship that the president lost. “He inspires people to put in their best work and to pull all-nighter after all-nighter because the work matters.”
But the most interesting piece of the profile is that Letter has a good enough relationship with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch that both conservative justices celebrated Letter's departure from the Justice Department. Letter has worked for both sides of the aisle, which allies think is a huge benefit to Pelosi's team.
“It never hurts to have somebody around who knows the other team’s signals or at least understands how they think,” said former Pelosi chief of staff John Lawrence. He recommended Letter for the position, even though the hiring turned heads.
“There is some irony in his being tagged to push back against executive branch overreach,” said ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner. “As a government lawyer, he defended extravagant claims of executive prerogative, including that the CIA could designate its own illegal activity a state secret and thereby avoid any kind of accountability.”