Steven Engel

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Steven Engel
Steven Engel official photo.jpg
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel
Assumed office
November 13, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Virginia A. Seitz
Personal details
Born
Steven Andrew Engel

(1974-06-29) June 29, 1974 (age 45)
New Hyde Park, New York, U.S.
Education Harvard University (BA)
University of Cambridge (MPhil)
Yale University (JD)

Steven Andrew Engel (born June 29, 1974)[1][2] is an American lawyer who is the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Donald Trump administration.[3] Engel, who previously worked in the George W. Bush administration as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, was nominated by President Donald Trump on January 31, 2017, and confirmed on November 7, 2017.[4]

Early life and education

Engel was born on June 29, 1974, in New Hyde Park, New York, a Long Island suburb of New York City.[1] He was raised in Port Washington, New York and graduated as valedictorian from Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School in 1992, earning a bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1996.[1][5] From 1996–1997, Engel was a Knox Fellow at University of Cambridge.[1][6][7] He was awarded a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 2000,[1] and then clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, followed by a clerkship for Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States.[1][8][3]

Early career

Engel practiced law at Kirkland & Ellis from 2002 through 2006[1] before serving as an Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Office of Legal Counsel during the George W. Bush administration from 2006 through 2009.[1] In June 2009, Engel became a partner at Dechert, an international law firm.[6][5][3]

Office of Legal Counsel

On January 31, 2017, the White House announced that President Donald Trump intended to nominate Engel to serve as the Assistant Attorney General heading the Office of Legal Counsel.[4][2] Engel's nomination was opposed by U.S. Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war who was tortured while in captivity. McCain cited Engel's involvement in commenting on and reviewing one of the so-called "Torture memos" that signed off on six different "enhanced interrogation techniques."[9] Various human rights groups expressed concerns about Engel's nomination, also citing his involvement with the July 20, 2007, memo authored by Steven G. Bradbury, then-head of the OLC.[10] Engel was confirmed by a 51–47 vote, largely along party lines with one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin (West Virginia), voting in favor of confirmation.[11]

In June 2019, Engel issued an OLC opinion supporting the Justice Department's decision not to release Donald Trump's tax returns.[12]

In September 2019, Engel authored the OLC opinion[13] of the Justice Department to not forward the Trump–Ukraine scandal whistleblower complaint[14] to congress. The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency concluded that Engel's opinion had a "chilling effect on effective oversight" and was "wrong as a matter of law and policy"; urging him to withdraw or modify it.[15][16][17]

Engel's November 3, 2019 letter

In a letter dated November 3, 2019, Engel argued that White House advisors have "absolute immunity" from being subpoenaed to testify in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.[18][19][20]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Questionnaire for Non-Judicial Nominees" (PDF). n.d.
  2. ^ a b "Steven A. Engel to be Nominated to Assistant Attorney General Role" (Press release). Dechert. February 1, 2017. Archived from the original on December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Meet the Leadership". justice.gov. United States Department of Justice. November 13, 2017. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Miller, S.A. (January 31, 2017). "Trump names three senior Justice officials". Washington Times. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Straehley, Steve (February 24, 2017). "Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel: Who Is Steven A. Engel?". AllGov. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Former DOJ Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel Joins Dechert LLP" (PDF) (Press release). Dechert. June 8, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  7. ^ Office of Public Affairs (November 7, 2017). "Attorney General Sessions Welcomes Steven Engel As Assistant Attorney General for the Office Of Legal Counsel" (Press release). United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Mauro, Tony (January 25, 2017). "Dechert Partner Is Trump's Likely Pick to Head 'President's Law Firm' Within DOJ". National Law Journal. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  9. ^ Kim, Seung Min (November 8, 2017). "McCain opposes Trump nominee over torture memos". Politico. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  10. ^ "Groups Express Concern over US Office of Legal Counsel Nominee". hrw.org. Human Rights Watch. June 7, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  11. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress – 1st Session". www.senate.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  12. ^ Rappeport, Alan (June 14, 2019). "Justice Dept. Backs Mnuchin's Refusal to Release Trump's Tax Returns". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  13. ^ ""Urgent Concern" Determination by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community". justice.gov. September 3, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  14. ^ "Unclassified Whistleblower Complaint" (PDF). August 12, 2019.
  15. ^ Volz, Dustin (October 25, 2019). "U.S. Watchdog Council Says Justice Department Erred in Blocking Whistleblower Complaint". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  16. ^ Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (October 22, 2019). "Letter to Steven A. Engel" (PDF). Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  17. ^ Naham, Matt (October 25, 2019). "IG Handling FISA Probe, Others Blast OLC for Concluding Whistleblower Complaint Wasn't 'Urgent Concern'". lawandcrime.com. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  18. ^ "Mulvaney will defer to Trump and will not testify in impeachment hearings". CBS News. November 12, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  19. ^ Reid, Paula (November 4, 2019). "Committees release first transcripts in Trump impeachment inquiry". CBS News. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  20. ^ Cook, Nancy (November 4, 2019). "Trump's latest legal strategy on impeachment: Run out the clock". Politico. Retrieved December 3, 2019.

External links

  • Biography at the Federalist Society
  • Steven Engel at C-SPAN
Legal offices
Preceded by
Virginia A. Seitz
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel
2017–present
Incumbent


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