Washington (CNN)The White House announced Saturday that President Donald Trump appointed Ty Cobb, a former federal prosecutor, as White House special counsel.
Cobb is expected to oversee the legal and media response to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and alleged collusion by the Trump campaign, a White House official told CNN on Friday.
His hiring comes after news this week that the President’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign on the premise that he would be offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton, according to emails Trump Jr. posted on Twitter earlier this week.
So who is Cobb?
Cobb works as a partner in the investigations practice of the law firm Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, according to a statement from the White House. He graduated from Harvard University and earned a law degree from Georgetown, the statement said.
His law firm said in a statement that he is resigning from his job effective July 31.
“Ty is a preeminent white collar defense lawyer who is celebrated for his ability to give creative and strategic advice, for his tireless work ethic, and for his unwavering commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and the rule of law,” Hogan Lovells CEO Stephen J. Immelt said in a statement. “We are sorry to lose him, but this is a unique opportunity to serve his country at the very highest level.”
Michael Zeldin, a CNN legal analyst who was special counsel to then-Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller, called Cobb a “genuinely nice man.”
“I think of him as a genuinely nice man who, in this case, has a lot of prior experience that will be relevent to how to run a war room in the White House, ” Zeldin said.
Mueller is now heading the federal Russia probe as the Justice Department’s special counsel.
Cobb was a former federal prosecutor in Baltimore in the 1980s, where he led the region’s drug enforcement and organized crime task force, according to a 1997 profile on the attorney in The Washington Post. Some of his cases could have come straight out of the television show “Homicide,” the article said.
The article said Cobb had become an aggressive white-collar defense lawyer, adding that he was “an active Republican.” In a 2007 article in The Wall Street Journal, Cobb said he was named after the great Detroit Tigers outfielder, who was rumored to be a distant relative.
Who has he represented?
In the past, Cobb successfully defended beef processor Hudson Foods against charges that company officials lied to investigators after a massive recall of meat contaminated with E. coli. The officials were acquitted of the charges, according to The Daily Nebraskan. Hudson was bought by food giant Tyson Foods Inc. in the late 1990s, not long after the recall.
In another high-profile case, Cobb defended Democratic Party fundraiser John Huang against charges of violating campaign finance laws, to which Huang ultimately pleaded guilty in 1999.
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