John Eisenberg

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John Eisenberg
Personal details
Born1966/1967 (age 52–53)[1]
Political partyRepublican
EducationStanford University (BS)
Yale University (JD)

John A. Eisenberg is an American lawyer who serves as the National Security Council Legal Advisor, and Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs. He was appointed by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and part of the National Security Council. He served in the Department of Justice from 2006–2009.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Eisenberg received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.[3] He worked as an associate deputy attorney general during the Presidency of George W. Bush.[4] He was a partner in the Washington, D.C. law office of Kirkland & Ellis.[4]

In 2017, Eisenberg was appointed Deputy Assistant to the President, National Security Council Legal Advisor, and Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and part of the National Security Council.[2]

Trump Tower wiretapping allegations[edit]

On March 29, 2017, The New York Times reported that Michael Ellis and Ezra Cohen-Watnick were involved in the leaking of intelligence documents to Representative Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee.[5] The following day, The Washington Post reported that Eisenberg was also involved.[6] In April 2017, the Associated Press quoted a U.S. official as saying that although Cohen-Watnick had access to those kinds of intelligence materials, he did not play a role in helping Nunes gain access to the documents.[7] According to a U.S. official, Cohen-Watnick was not involved in showing the material to Nunes, did not clear Nunes onto the White House grounds, did not review the material with Nunes, and was not even aware that the material was going to be shared with Nunes.[5][6]

Trump–Ukraine scandal[edit]

Eisenberg ordered a transcript of a Trump call with Ukraine's president be moved to a highly classified server and played a role in the Justice Department's early handling of the Trump–Ukraine scandal.[8][9] The whistleblower initially submitted concerns anonymously to Courtney Elwood, general counsel of the CIA. Elwood then contacted Justice Department officials and Eisenberg.[10] Eisenberg was notified by both Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman that they were concerned about inappropriate comments to Ukrainian officials by European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and President Donald Trump.[11]

Per Vindman's testimony, Eisenberg instructed Vindman not to tell anyone about the Trump call to President Volodymyr Zelensky.[12][13] In early November 2019, Eisenberg was subpoenaed to testify by the House Intelligence Committee but refused.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lippman, Daniel (October 16, 2019). "The lawyer at the center of the Ukraine vortex". Politico. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "John Eisenberg". Committee to Investigate Russia. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  3. ^ White House Press Secretary (February 2, 2017). "White House National Security Advisor Announces NSC Senior Staff Appointments". (Press release). Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Lippman, Daniel; Cook, Nancy (October 16, 2019). "The lawyer at the center of the Ukraine vortex". Politico.
  5. ^ a b Rosenberg, Matthew; Haberman, Maggie; Goldman, Adam (March 30, 2017). "2 White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Miller, Greg; DeYoung, Karen (March 30, 2017). "Three White House officials tied to files shared with House intelligence chairman". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Salama, Vivian (April 5, 2017). "Trump removes Bannon from National Security Council". AP News. Associated Press. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  8. ^ Brown, Pamela; Sciutto, Jim; Liptak, Kevin (September 27, 2019). "White House restricted access to Trump's calls with Putin and Saudi crown prince". Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  9. ^ Leonnig, Carol D.; Hamburger, Tom; Miller, Greg (October 31, 2019). "White House lawyer moved transcript of Trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms". Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  10. ^ Bantz, Phillip (September 27, 2019). "CIA General Counsel's Role in Trump Whistleblower Complaint". Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Jaffe, Greg (October 29, 2019). "White House official to tell impeachment investigators he feared Trump's demands of Ukraine would undermine national security". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  12. ^ Bertr, Natasha. "Testimony: White House lawyer told Vindman not to discuss Ukraine call". POLITICO. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  13. ^ Hamburger, Tom. "White House official who heard Trump's call with Ukraine leader testified that he was told to keep quiet". Washington Post. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  14. ^ Wilkie, Christina (November 4, 2019). "Intel Chairman Adam Schiff: Trump aides' refusal to testify adds to potential impeachment evidence". CNBC. Retrieved November 5, 2019.

External links[edit]