George Conway, lawyer and Kellyanne Conway’s husband, makes case for Mueller investigation
Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway's husband, George Conway, rebuts President Trump in his recently published article about special counsel Robert Mueller.
George Conway, a prominent attorney and husband of President Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway, is pushing back against the president's claim's about the constitutionality of special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment.
In an article published Monday on Lawfare, a well-regarded legal site, Conway appeared to be responding to a tweet from President Trump that claimed Mueller's appointment was unconstitutional.
In his article, Conway wrote that Trump seemed to have picked up the notion that Mueller's appointment was illegal from an op-ed written by conservative legal scholar and Federalist Society chairman Steven Calabresi.
In his at-times scathing essay, titled "The Terrible Arguments Against the Constitutionality of the Mueller Investigation," Conway laid out a detailed critique of the president, his claims and the article they were based on.
"It isn't very surprising to see the president tweet a meritless legal position, because, as a non-lawyer, he wouldn't know the difference between a good one and a bad one," Conway wrote.
According to Conway, Calabresi's argument centered around the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, which "distinguishes between two classes of executive- branch 'officers' — principal officers and inferior officers — and specifies how each may be appointed."
Principal officers must be appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. While inferior officers are usually appointed similarly, the Senate may delegate its role to department heads, the president alone, or other officers for their appointment.
Conway rebutted Calabresi's claim that Mueller's position was comparable to that of a U.S. attorney — a principal officer — and thus he was appointed illegally.
"This assumption is just wrong—uncomplicatedly, flatly wrong," Conway wrote. He pointed to a law that says U.S. attorneys can be appointed temporarily by the attorney general and indefinitely by district courts.
Thus, according to Conway, Mueller's appointment by someone other than the president or Senate was legal.
Conway also argued that Calabresi was operating on a "badly mistaken premise" and U.S. attorneys are inferior officers. Therefore, if Mueller is behaving like a U.S. attorney as Calabresi claims, Calabresi's argument "collapses upon itself," Conway wrote.
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"In short, there is no serious argument that Special Counsel Mueller's appointment violates the Appointments Clause specifically or the separation of powers generally," he wrote.
Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman called Conway's rebuttal "devastating" to Calabresi's argument.
"His sharp conclusion is the most significant part, calling Calabresi's argument 'meritless,' " Shugerman said. "That's a strong word in legal circles, and it's accurate."
As a student at Yale Law, Conway was known for his conservative views and involvement in the same Federalist Society that Calabresi presides over. At Yale, classmates with differing opinions held Conway in high regard due to his willingness to debate and consider others' arguments, the Washington Post reported last year.
Conway joined the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in 1988 and was made partner in 1994. He has worked there since, focusing on representing corporations.
In 2001, he married Kellyanne Fitzpatrick — now Conway and one of the president's most high-profile advisers. The pair have four children together.
Last year, George Conway was under consideration for the role of solicitor general, who argues before the Supreme Court on behalf of the U.S. government. Conway passed up the job, citing the timing as being wrong for him and his family.