|United States Attorney for the District of Columbia|
December 2, 1983 – March 1, 1988
|Preceded by||Stanley S. Harris|
|Succeeded by||Jay B. Stephens|
|Born||February 22, 1945|
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Victoria Toensing (m. 1981)
|Education||University of Cincinnati (BA)|
Georgetown University (JD)
Joseph diGenova (born February 22, 1945) is an American lawyer, political commentator, and conspiracy theorist who served as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1983 to 1988. He is known for promoting conspiracy theories about the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Career in law and politics
DiGenova later served as Independent Counsel investigating the 1992 preelection search of then-candidate Bill Clinton's passport file by officials of the George H. W. Bush administration. DiGenova concluded that the passport search had been "stupid, dumb and partisan," but not illegal, and that the government should apologize to the officials who ordered the search.
DiGenova called on President Trump to pardon Scooter Libby, adviser of Dick Cheney, who was found guilty of perjury in an investigation revolving around leaks of sensitive classified material. DiGenova is married to Libby's lawyer, Victoria Toensing. Trump pardoned Libby on April 13, 2018.
Russian interference in the 2016 election
DiGenova, who frequently appears as an analyst and commentator on Fox News, has accused FBI officials of trying to "frame" President Donald Trump for "nonexistent" crimes. On March 19, 2018, he and his spouse, Victoria Toensing, were hired to serve on Trump's legal team for the Special Counsel investigation. However, Trump backtracked the hires several days later due to potential conflicts-of-interest. The president hoped diGenova could function as a stand-in for him on television and spearhead the attacks on Mueller and the investigation.
In April 2018, diGenova called for the firing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said that special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election were "legal terrorists" and called former FBI Director James Comey "a dirty cop". In May 2018 tweet, Trump quoted diGenova as saying "The recusal of Jeff Sessions was an unforced betrayal of the President of the United States."
In March 2019, diGenova mocked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the way she pronounced her name. He misstated her name as "Anastasio Ocasio-Cortez" and pronounced her name with an exaggerated Italian accent.
- Lewis, Nancy (January 13, 1988). "Digenova Turns In Resignation". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- LaFraniere, Sharon (February 29, 1988). "Digenova's Legacy". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Sheth, Sonam (April 11, 2018). "Former federal prosecutor Joseph DiGenova calls for Rosenstein's firing on Fox News after Trump tells people to tune in to the 'big show'". Business Insider. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
DiGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, both used to work within the US Justice Department, but later made their reputations peddling conspiracy theories on TV about the DOJ and FBI.
- Haberman, Maggie; Schmidt, Michael S. (March 19, 2018). "Trump Hires Lawyer Who Has Pushed Theory That Justice Dept. Framed the President". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Blake, Aaron (March 19, 2018). "Analysis | Trump just hired a deep-state conspiracy theorist as his lawyer. Here's what Joe DiGenova has said". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- Sheth, Sonam (March 19, 2018). "Trump is reportedly set to hire a new lawyer who called Comey 'a dirty cop' and accused the FBI of trying to 'frame' Trump". Business Insider. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- "The bizarre conspiracy theories peddled by Donald Trump's new lawyer". The Independent. March 20, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- Hart, Benjamin. "Trump's Conspiracy Theory Lawyer Dropped From Team Before Starting". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
DiGenova is known as a fierce defender of Trump who has used frequent guest appearances on Fox News to advance far-out conspiracy theories that the FBI is trying to frame the president.
- Tibon, Amir (March 20, 2018). "Trump's New Lawyer: The Man Who Sent Jonathan Pollard to Jail". Haaretz. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
Joseph diGenova has promoted conspiracy theories about a 'deep state' attempt to 'frame' Trump and his campaign for criminal activities
- Breuninger, Kevin (March 27, 2018). "Here are the lawyers who quit or declined to represent Trump in the Mueller probe". CNBC. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
DiGenova, a regular Fox News guest, had spouted conspiracy theories about the Mueller probe's motives against Trump.
- Kutner, Max (March 19, 2018). "Who Is Joseph diGenova, Trump's Newest Pick to Defend Him in Mueller Probe?". Newsweek. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- "U.S. Prosecutor Is Resigning". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 13, 1988. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- Pincus, Walter (December 1, 1995). "Independent Counsel calls '92 Clinton passport search "stupid" but not illegal". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Baker, Peter; Haberman, Maggie (April 12, 2018). "Trump Plans to Pardon Scooter Libby for Perjury in C.I.A. Leak Case". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Swanson, Ian (April 13, 2018). "Trump pardons Scooter Libby, saying he was 'treated unfairly'". The Hill. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Liptak, Kevin (April 13, 2018). "Trump pardons ex-Cheney aide Scooter Libby". CNN. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- Knowles, Michael (April 13, 2018). "Trump Rightly Pardons Scooter Libby A Decade After Bush Refused". The Daily Wire. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- Lucey, Catherine (March 25, 2018). "Trump is staffing — or casting from Fox". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- Haberman, Maggie; Landler, Mark; Schmidt, Michael S. (March 25, 2018). "Trump Won't Hire 2 Lawyers Whose Appointments Were Announced Days Ago". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- Dawsey, Josh; Leonnig, Carol D.; Wagner, John (March 25, 2018). "In another blow to Trump's efforts to combat Russia probe, diGenova will no longer join legal team". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- "Trump Again Says He Wishes Sessions Were Not Attorney General". The New York Times. May 30, 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- "Frequent Fox News guest tells Laura Ingraham "we are in a civil war;" suggests everyone buy guns to prepare for "total war"". Media Matters. February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
- "Fake accent? Ocasio-Cortez under fire from the right for how she says her own name". NBC News. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Moran, Lee (March 20, 2019). "Ingraham And Guest Mock 'Anastasio' Ocasio-Cortez For Doing 'The Latina Thing'". HuffPost. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Daugherty, Owen (March 20, 2019). "Ocasio-Cortez takes aim at Laura Ingraham, Fox guest for mocking pronunciation of her name". TheHill. Retrieved April 14, 2019.