Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Trevor Potter is a lawyer, former commissioner (1991–1995) and chairman (1994) of the United States Federal Election Commission. He is the founder, President, and General Counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit organization which works in the areas of campaign finance and elections, political communication and government ethics. His government experience also includes service as assistant general counsel of the United States Federal Communications Commission (1984-1985) and attorney with the United States Department of Justice (1982-1984). Potter served as General Counsel to the 2000 and 2008 Presidential campaigns of John McCain and Deputy General Counsel to the George H.W. Bush 1988 campaign. He is an attorney at Caplin & Drysdale, where he leads the firm's Political Law practice.
He is also notable for appearing on the television program The Colbert Report, where he discussed political action committees, and the founding and progress of Colbert Super PAC. Potter explained to Colbert's audience the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision made by the United States Supreme Court that allowed the creation of "Super PACs", and was the lawyer behind the creation and functioning of Stephen Colbert's PAC, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow". The Colbert Report's segments on "Super PACs" were recognized with a Peabody Award for the year 2011.
Potter attended the Brooks School in North Andover, MA. He earned his A.B. from Harvard University in 1978, and his Juris Doctor from University of Virginia School of Law in 1982. He has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as "hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law and money".
- Anthony Corrado (Editor), Thomas E. Mann (Editor), Daniel R. Ortiz (Editor), Trevor Potter (Editor), Frank J. Sorauf (Editor), Campaign Finance Reform: A Sourcebook, Brookings Institution Press (1997), ISBN 978-0815715818
- Anthony Corrado (Editor), Thomas E. Mann (Editor), Trevor Potter (Editor), Inside the Campaign Finance Battle: Court Testimony on the New Reforms, Brookings Institution Press (2003), ISBN 978-0815715832
- Anthony Corrado, Thomas E. Mann, Daniel R. Ortiz, Trevor Potter, The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook, Brookings Institution Press (2005), ISBN 978-0815700050
- Trevor Potter, Political Activity, Lobbying Laws and Gift Rules Guide, Thomson West (2008), ISBN 978-0314979483
- Joseph Birkenstock,Trevor Potter, Political Activity, Lobbying Laws and Gift Rules Guide, 2009-2010 ed., LegalWorks (2009), ISBN 978-0314988300
- Joseph Birkenstock,Trevor Potter, Political Activity, Lobbying Laws and Gift Rules Guide, 2010-2011 ed., LegalWorks (2010), ISBN 978-0314999054
- Joseph Birkenstock,Trevor Potter, Political Activity, Lobbying Laws and Gift Rules Guide, 3d, 2011-2012 ed., LegalWorks (2011), ISBN 978-0314925923
- About Us The Campaign Legal Center
- Trevor Potter Bio, Politico
- "Colbert finally explains super PACs, Washington Post, January 13, 2012
- The Colbert Report - Super PAC Segments (Comedy Central)
- American Law Institute quarterly newsletter - Q&A with Trevor Potter - Winter 2014
- Principles of Election Law - The American Law Institute - List of Project Participants
- Trevor Potter Lawyer Profile martindale.com
- The Lawyers Who May Run America, ABA Journal, November 1, 2008
- Member profile at Caplin & Drysdale
- Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Appearances on Moyers & Company
- Appearances and news articles on The Colbert Report
- Trevor Potter at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Trevor Potter in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Trevor Potter at the Notable Names Database