12:03, May 19 184 0 abajournal.com

2017-05-19 12:03:04
Justice Department likely to waive any conflicts involving Mueller and his ex-law firm’s clients

The U.S. Justice Department will conduct a review of potential conflicts of interest involving special counsel Robert Mueller and the law firm he left to take the post, WilmerHale.

WilmerHale represents several individuals linked to President Donald Trump, report the Washington Post and Politico. The Justice Department will conduct a background investigation and conflicts check using the process called for in regulations governing special counsels, according to the Post.

WilmerHale has represented Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The law firm has said Mueller had no involvement in representing any of those clients.

Federal regulations ban officials from involvement in matters regarding their former employers for two years, but the requirement can be waived, according to the Post.

Ethics experts interviewed by Politico and the Post said a waiver would likely be granted.

“I would support them using that authority,” University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter told Politico. “It doesn’t really make sense for him to oversee one part of the investigation and recuse from others. … The real risk here is interference by the White House or by [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions’ appointees, not some issue involving WilmerHale.”