|Acting United States Deputy Attorney General|
May 13, 2019 – May 22, 2019
|Attorney General||William Barr|
|Preceded by||Rod Rosenstein|
|Succeeded by||Jeffrey A. Rosen|
Edward Casey O'Callaghan
June 8, 1969
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Education||Georgetown University (BA)|
New York University (JD)
Edward Casey O'Callaghan (born June 8, 1969) is an American attorney who served as the co-chief of the terrorism and national security unit of the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, who resigned in July 2008 to join John McCain's presidential campaign. One of three leaders of Sarah Palin's Alaska "truth squad," O'Callaghan became the public face of Palin's legal defense against ethics charges related to her former brother-in-law, the so-called "Troopergate." From 2009 to 2011, he worked at the law firm Nixon Peabody, then from 2011 to 2017 he was a partner at the New York office of law firm Clifford Chance. In 2017, he became the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the National Security Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Early life and education
O'Callaghan was born in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from the New York University School of Law. From 1995 to 1996, O'Callaghan served as a law clerk to Judge Kevin Duffy of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Sarah Palin "truth squad"
In 2008, O'Callaghan co-led what the Anchorage Daily News called "a cadre of high-powered operatives" described by John McCain's campaign as a "truth squad" to field questions about and defend attacks against vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. His two co-leaders were Karl Rove protégée Brian Jones, and Washington lawyer Mark Paoletta.
Paoletta, Jones, and O'Callaghan were "tasked specifically with responding to the sort of viral attacks that have been popping up about Palin’s background and record in Alaska... The public face for this pushback, though, will be woman Republican politicians, a 'truth squad' team designed to highlight attacks on Palin and draw sympathy to her side." Paoletta and Jones were volunteers while O'Callaghan was on staff.
O'Callaghan was sent to Alaska to handle "legal issues that are affecting the political dynamic of the campaign," according to Taylor Griffin, a former Treasury Department official in the Bush administration. Newsweek described O'Callaghan's role as "helping to direct an aggressive legal strategy aimed at shutting down a pre-election ethics investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin." Working with Palin's attorney Thomas Van Flein, O'Callaghan worked to block the investigation. "There was no Ethics Act violation and there is no need to go forward with this," O'Callaghan told reporters.
The Alaska Personnel Board concluded that Palin did not violate the Alaska Executive Ethics Act by trying to get her brother-in-law fired. Alaska Personnel Board investigations are normally secret, but the three-member board chose to release its report one day before the Presidential election.
O'Callaghan moved into private practice in March 2009 when the law firm Nixon Peabody announced he had joined its Government Investigations and White Collar Defense Practice Group. In 2011, he joined the international law firm Clifford Chance in New York as a Partner in its White Collar, Regulatory Enforcement and Government Investigations practice group. O'Callaghan worked on several high-profile representations, including Achilles Macris, who was head of the London branch of JPMorgan Chase’s chief investment office, where the trader nicknamed the "London Whale," O'Callaghan also served on the defense of Jeffrey Webb, the former President of CONCACAF and member of the FIFA Council, in the criminal RICO indictment pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
In 2017, O'Callaghan became the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the United States Department of Justice National Security Division.
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- "Former Senior DOJ Official Edward C. O'Callaghan Joins WilmerHale". www.wilmerhale.com. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
| United States Deputy Attorney General
Jeffrey A. Rosen