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Jeffrey Toobin

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Jeffrey Toobin
Toobin at the 2012 Texas Book Festival
Jeffrey Ross Toobin

(1960-05-21) May 21, 1960 (age 64)
New York City, U.S.
EducationHarvard University (BA, JD)
Occupation(s)Legal analyst, commentator
Notable credit(s)The New Yorker (1993–2020)
CNN senior legal analyst (2002–2022)
Amy Bennett McIntosh
(m. 1986)
Parent(s)Jerome Toobin
Marlene Sanders

Jeffrey Ross Toobin[1] (/ˈtbɪn/; born May 21, 1960) is an American lawyer, author, blogger, and legal analyst for CNN.[2][3]

During the Iran–Contra affair, Toobin served as an associate counsel on its investigation at the Department of Justice. He moved from government and the practice of law into full-time writing during the 1990s, when he published his first books. He wrote for The New Yorker from 1993 to 2020.[4] Toobin was fired that fall for masturbating on-camera during a Zoom video conference call with co-workers; he apologized for his conduct and stated that he believed his camera was off.[5][6][7][8][9] He continued to serve as legal analyst for CNN for two years.

Toobin has written several books, including accounts of the 1970s Patty Hearst kidnapping and her time with the SLA, the O. J. Simpson murder case, and the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal. The latter two were adapted for television as seasons of FX's American Crime Story, with the Simpson case premiering in 2016.

Early life and education

Toobin was born to a Jewish-American family[10] in New York City in 1960,[11] a son of Marlene Sanders, former ABC News and CBS News correspondent, and Jerome Toobin, a news broadcasting producer.[12] His younger brother, Mark, born in 1967 with Down syndrome, has lived apart from the family.[5]

Toobin attended Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. While attending Harvard College for undergraduate studies, he covered sports for The Harvard Crimson.[13] His column was titled "Inner Toobin". Toobin graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American history and literature and was awarded a Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

He attended Harvard Law School, where classmates included Elena Kagan, and he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated in 1986 with a J.D., magna cum laude.[14]


Toobin promoting his book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court at the 2007 Texas Book Festival

Toobin began freelancing for The New Republic while a law student. After passing the bar exam, he worked as a law clerk to U.S. circuit judge J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Next he served as an associate counsel for Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh during the Iran–Contra affair and Oliver North's criminal trial. He moved to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.[15]

Toobin wrote a book, Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer's First Case: United States v. Oliver North (1991),[16] about his work in the Office of Independent Counsel, to which Walsh objected. Toobin had been required to sign multiple agreements to protect the confidentiality of grand jury and internal proceedings of the office. But he had taken thousands of pages of notes with him and based his book on such information, revealing material that Walsh believed should have been held as private. Toobin went to court to affirm his right to publish. Judge John F. Keenan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote an opinion that Toobin and his publisher had the right to release this book. The book was published before Walsh's appeal could be decided, mooting the case. Accordingly, the Circuit Court vacated the lower court's decision and ordered the dismissal of the case.[17]

After three years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Toobin resigned from the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, and abandoned "the practice of law."[citation needed] He started working as a writer in 1993 at The New Yorker and in 1996 became a television legal analyst for ABC.

Toobin has provided broadcast legal analysis on several high-profile cases. In 1994, Toobin broke the story in The New Yorker that the legal defense team in O. J. Simpson's criminal trial planned to accuse Mark Fuhrman of the LAPD of planting evidence.[18] Toobin provided analysis of Michael Jackson's 2005 child molestation trial,[19] the O. J. Simpson civil case, and independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton.

He published books on some of these cases: The Run of His Life: The People v OJ Simpson (1997), and A Vast Conspiracy (1999), about the investigation of Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. Each of these books was later adapted for television, the Simpson case as a mini-series, and the Clinton as an episode.

In 2000 Toobin received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elián González custody saga, which had resulted in the return of the boy from the United States to communist-led Cuba.

Toobin joined CNN in 2002[18] as a legal analyst. In 2003, he secured the first interview with Martha Stewart about the insider trading charges against her.[4]

Toobin speaking about the Supreme Court at the John J. Rhodes Lecture in Tempe, Arizona

Toobin is the author of seven books. His book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (2007) received awards from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.[18]

His next book was The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court (2012). American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (2016), explored events from the 1970s. All were New York Times Best Sellers.

He wrote True Crimes and Misdemeanors, the Investigation of Donald Trump (2020), described as a "summation for the jury" against the character and presidency of Donald Trump, as if he were on trial.[20]

On August 12, 2022, Toobin announced via Twitter that he would leave CNN after 20 years. His last day on air was August 4.[21] In February 2024, Toobin began appearing again on CNN as a frequent guest, offering analysis on both president Biden and former president Trump's current legal situations.[22]


Two of Toobin's books were adapted for television. His book on the OJ Simpson trial was adapted as The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, a 2016 mini-series comprising the first season of the FX true-crime anthology series.[23]

A Vast Conspiracy (1999), about the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, was adapted as a series, Impeachment: American Crime Story (2021), in the FX anthology.[24]

Zoom incident

On October 19, 2020, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toobin was suspended from The New Yorker after he masturbated on camera during a Zoom video call between New Yorker and WNYC radio staffers.[5][6][7][8][9] CNN said Toobin "has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted". Toobin said in a statement: "I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers."[25] In November 2020 he was fired from The New Yorker, following an internal investigation by the parent organization, Condé Nast.[26] New York Public Radio, which owns WNYC, indefinitely banned Toobin from its broadcasts and podcasts.[5]

Toobin was widely ridiculed in the wake of the incident by, among others, O. J. Simpson, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Maher, Donald Trump Jr., and performers on Saturday Night Live.[27] Defenders included Tina Brown, a former New Yorker editor, who said that "27 years of superb reporting and commitment to The New Yorker should have been weighed against an incident that horribly embarrassed the magazine but mostly embarrassed himself." Author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell said he "read the Condé Nast news release, and I was puzzled because I couldn't find any intellectual justification for what they were doing."[5]

On June 10, 2021, Toobin returned to CNN as its chief legal analyst. He described his conduct as "deeply moronic and indefensible" and said he "didn't think other people could see [him]", but admitted that this was no defense for his behavior. He said the time he spent off air went toward "trying to be a better person", working on his upcoming book about the Oklahoma City bombing, going to therapy, and working at a food bank.[28]

Personal life

Toobin in 2017

In 1986, Toobin married Amy Bennett McIntosh,[29] whom he met in college while they worked at The Harvard Crimson. She is a 1980 Harvard graduate, holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School,[1][13] and has held executive positions at Verizon Communications and Zagat Survey.[30] They have two adult children, a daughter and son.[30]

Toobin had a longtime off-and-on extramarital affair with attorney Casey Greenfield, the daughter of American television journalist and author Jeff Greenfield and his first wife, Carrie Carmichael. Casey Greenfield was formerly married to screenwriter Matt Manfredi.[31] Greenfield gave birth to Toobin's son in 2009; Toobin initially resisted acknowledging the boy. Toobin's paternity was confirmed with a DNA test as part of a suit by Greenfield for custody and child support.[32]



  • Toobin, Jeffrey (1991). Opening arguments: a young lawyer's first case, United States v. Oliver North. New York: Viking.
  • — (1992) [1991]. Opening arguments: a young lawyer's first case : United States v. Oliver North. Revised & updated ed. New York: Penguin.
  • — (1997). The run of his life: the People v. O. J. Simpson.
  • — (1999). A vast conspiracy : the real story of the sex scandal that nearly brought down a president. New York: Random House.
  • — (2001). Too close to call : the thirty-six-day battle to decide the 2000 Election. New York: Random House.
  • — (2007). The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. New York: Doubleday.[33]
  • — (2012). The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court. New York: Doubleday.
  • — (2016). American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. New York: Doubleday.
  • — (2020). True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-385-53674-5.
  • — (2023). Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Essays and reporting


  1. ^ a b "J.R. Toobin Weds Amy B. McIntosh". The New York Times. June 1, 1986. Retrieved July 11, 2008.
  2. ^ Darcy, Oliver (August 12, 2022). "CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin will exit network after 20 years". CNN Business. Jeffrey Toobin said Friday that he will depart CNN, where he served most recently as chief legal analyst...Toobin, who was last on air August 4th, added, "Love all my former colleagues."
  3. ^ Battaglio, Stephen (August 12, 2022). "Scandal-tainted legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin exits CNN". Los Angeles Times. Toobin has been with CNN for 20 years. He made his departure public in a tweet.
  4. ^ a b "Contributors: Jeffrey Toobin". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e Rosman, Katherine; Bernstein, Jacob (December 15, 2020). "The Undoing of Jeffrey Toobin". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Jeffrey Toobin suspended by The New Yorker and is temporarily stepping away from CNN following report he exposed himself on Zoom". CBS News. Associated Press. October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Bauder, David (June 20, 2021). "Jeffrey Toobin returns to CNN after Zoom call incident". Associated Press. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin returned to the network Thursday for the first time in more than seven months after he was caught masturbating on a Zoom call with former colleagues at The New Yorker.
  8. ^ a b Wulfsohn, Joseph A. (May 3, 2021). "CNN silent as Jeffrey Toobin has had 'time off' for six months following Zoom masturbation scandal". Fox News.
  9. ^ a b Wagner, Laura (October 19, 2020). "New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin for Masturbating on Zoom Call". Vice.
  10. ^ Sher, Cindy (May 2, 2017). "Interview with CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, one of three best-selling authors to headline JUF Trade Dinner season". Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. Toobin, who is Jewish, is a CNN Senior Analyst, a judicial expert, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a bestselling author.
  11. ^ Clehane, Diane (October 10, 2007). "So What Do You Do, Jeffrey Toobin, Author?". Mediabistro. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2008.
  12. ^ Mindell, Cindy (August 20, 2010). "Q & A with... Marlene Sanders". Jewish Ledger. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Jacobs, Samuel P. (June 4, 2007). "Jeffrey R. Toobin". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  14. ^ "Author and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin '86 named this year's Class Day speaker". Harvard Law Today. May 23, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  15. ^ Eastland, Terry (May 1991). "Above the Constitution?". Commentary. Vol. 91, no. 5. pp. 60–62. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  16. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (1991). Opening Arguments. New York. ISBN 978-0-525-43445-0. OCLC 1011683236.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  17. ^ Penguin Books USA, Inc.; Jeffrey R. Toobin v. Lawrence E. Walsh; Office of Independent Counsel, 929 F.2d 69 (United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. March 1991).
  18. ^ a b c "Anchors & Reporters – Jeffrey Toobin". CNN. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  19. ^ "Toobin: Jackson courtroom 'like nothing I've ever seen'". CNN. January 16, 2004. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  20. ^ Elving, Ron (July 31, 2020). "In 'True Crimes,' Toobin Presents A Summation For The Jury In The Case Against Trump". NPR. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  21. ^ Darcy, Oliver (August 12, 2022). "CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin will exit network after 20 years". CNN. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  22. ^ "Trump Has 'Next to No Chance of Winning' When He Appeals $354 Million Judgment Against Him, Says CNN Legal Analyst". Mediaite. February 17, 2024. Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  23. ^ "FX Orders American Crime Story From American Horror Story Creator". IGN.com. October 7, 2014.
  24. ^ Metz, Nina (September 7, 2021). "'Impeachment: American Crime Story' review: The show depicts the saga between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky but it feels like a dodge". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  25. ^ Diaz, Johnny; Paybarah, Azi (October 19, 2020). "New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin After Zoom Incident". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  26. ^ Robertson, Katie (November 11, 2020). "Jeffrey Toobin Is Fired by The New Yorker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  27. ^ Saturday Night Live. "Madame Vivelda." YouTube, October 24, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7hoynDj4WI.
  28. ^ Stelter, Brian (June 10, 2021). "Jeffrey Toobin is back at CNN eight months after exposing himself on Zoom". CNN Business. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  29. ^ "Meet Jeffrey Toobin's Wife Amy Bennett McIntosh". Daily Entertainment News. August 12, 2022. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  30. ^ a b Rush, George (February 17, 2010). "CNN legal eagle Jeffrey Toobin in baby mama drama – with daughter of CBS News' Jeff Greenfield". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  31. ^ "Casey Greenfield, Matt Manfredi". The New York Times. November 21, 2004. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  32. ^ Finn, Robin (February 17, 2012). "Casey Greenfield v. the World". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  33. ^ Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize – see "J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project winners". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
  34. ^ Profiles US Representative Barney Frank.
  35. ^ Legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act.
  36. ^ Citizens United v. FEC.
  37. ^ Bush v. Gore.
  38. ^ Discusses Baltimore City Detention Center.
  39. ^ Online version is titled "Gawker's demise and the Trump-era threat to the First Amendment".
  40. ^ Online version is titled "Loretta Lynch's ideal of justice".
  41. ^ Online version is titled "The National Enquirer's fervor for Trump".
  42. ^ Online version is titled "Sex, spies, and clunky computers on 'The Americans'".
  43. ^ Online version is titled "The deceptive contrast between Trump and Kavanaugh".
  44. ^ Online version is titled "Andrew McCabe's countdown to the Mueller Report".
  45. ^ Online version is titled "The abortion fight and the pretense of precedent".

External links