Andrew Weissmann

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Andrew Weissmann
General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
In office
PresidentBarack Obama
DirectorRobert Mueller
Succeeded byJames A. Baker
Personal details
Born (1958-03-17) March 17, 1958 (age 62)[1][2]
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Columbia University (JD)

Andrew A. Weissmann[3] (born March 17, 1958) is an American attorney. Starting in 2015 he became the chief of the criminal fraud section of the U.S. Department of Justice. In June 2017 he was appointed to a management role on the 2017 special counsel team headed by Robert Mueller. To assume that position, Weissmann took a leave from his DOJ post. The Special Counsel's investigation concluded in 2019 and Weissmann went into the private sector.


Weissmann has a bachelor's degree from Princeton University (1980). Following a Fulbright scholarship to the University of Geneva, he attended and graduated from Columbia Law School (1984). He then clerked for Judge Eugene Nickerson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.[4]


In 1991, Weissman was originally appointed by George HW Bush as the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and would remain in this role until 2002, after being retained by the following two administrations. While US Attorney for EDNY, Weissman tried more than 25 cases, some of which involved members of the Genovese, Colombo and Gambino crime families.[5] He led the prosecution team in the Vincent Gigante case, in which Gigante was convicted.[6]

From 2002 to 2005, Weissmann was the deputy director appointed by George W. Bush, prior to his assignment as the director of the task force investigating the Enron scandal.[5] His work resulted in the prosecution of more than 30 people for crimes including perjury, fraud, and obstruction including three of Enron's top executives, Andrew Fastow, Kenneth Lay. and Jeffrey Skilling. In a follow-up case in U.S. District Court, Weissmann also was successful at arguing that auditing firm Arthur Andersen LLP had covered up for Enron. In that case, which resulted in the destruction of Andersen, he convinced the district judge to instruct the jury that they could convict the firm regardless of whether its employees knew they were violating the law.[6] That ruling was later unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court in Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, in which the court held that "the jury instructions failed to convey the requisite consciousness of wrongdoing."[7]

In 2005 Weissmann worked as special counsel again with Mueller, before heading into private practice at Jenner & Block in New York after the special counsel completed its mandate. In 2011 he returned to the FBI, serving as General Counsel under Mueller.[8] From 2015-2017, he headed the criminal fraud section at DOJ. Weissmann has taught at NYU School of Law, Fordham Law School, and Brooklyn Law School.[4]

On June 19, 2017, Weissmann joined Special Counsel Mueller's team to run and investigate Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[9][10] He was said to be "the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort." A news report in March 2019 said he would soon leave the Justice Department and become a faculty member at New York University and to work on public service projects.[11] Later that year, he also joined MSNBC as a legal analyst.[1]


  1. ^ a b Vella, Lauren (November 15, 2019). "NBC signs Mueller 'pit bull' prosecutor Andrew Weissman as legal analyst". TheHill.
  2. ^ United States Public Records, 1970-2009 (New York, Texas, 1993-2004)
  3. ^ Columbia Law Review, Vol. 84, No. 5 (June 1984), p. 1297
  4. ^ a b "Press release: Andrew Weissmann Selected as Chief of Criminal Division's Fraud Section". U.S. Department of Justice. January 9, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Darren Samuelsohn. Everything we know about the Mueller probe so far. Politico, June 6, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Willman, David (February 19, 2018). "Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann has a reputation for hard-charging tactics — and sometimes going too far". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, 544 U.S. 696 (2005), 544 US 696 (2005).
  8. ^ Tom Schoenberg. Trump-Russia: senior US justice official Andrew Weissmann joining investigation. Sydney Morning Herald, June 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Karen Freifeld. Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes Reuters. June 19, 2017
  10. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (October 31, 2017). "Andrew Weissmann, Mueller's Legal Pit Bull". The New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  11. ^ Carrie Johnson. Top Mueller Prosecutor Stepping Down. Morning Edition, NPR, March 14, 2019.

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