Marc Kasowitz

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Marc Kasowitz
Personal details
Marc Elliot Kasowitz

(1952-06-28) June 28, 1952 (age 67)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Lori Kasowitz (m. 1992)
EducationYale University (BA)
Cornell University (JD)

Marc Elliot Kasowitz (/ˈkæzəwɪts/; born June 28, 1952) is an American trial lawyer and partner of the New York-based law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres, which he co-founded in 1993. He was a personal outside attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump.[1][2] On May 24, 2017, Kasowitz was retained to represent Trump personally in connection with investigations into the role of Trump's presidential campaign in Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[3][4] He later resigned on July 20, 2017.[5] Kasowitz also represents several Russian clients with close ties to Vladimir Putin.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Kasowitz was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Robert (1923–2015) and Felice (née Molaver; 1930–2004) Kasowitz.[7] He has a fraternal twin brother, Stephen, and a younger sister, Susan.[8] His family is Jewish.[9][10] His father, Robert, ran a successful scrap metal business. Marc's paternal grandparents, Samuel and Rose Kasowitz, emigrated from Poland to Connecticut, where Samuel started the scrap business with a push cart. Robert and his brothers Milton and Harold helped grow it into a family business. On his mother's side of the family, his grandfather William Molaver also emigrated from Poland, and his grandmother's parents came from Russia.[11]

He attended Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven. He graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in American history and from Cornell Law School with a J.D.[12]


Kasowitz worked for the law firm Mayer Brown until 1993, when Kasowitz, 18 other lawyers, and two clients left Mayer Brown to establish the Kasowitz Benson Torres law firm.[3][13]

After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Kasowitz defended the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in a lawsuit filed by victims of the attack. In 2005, the Port Authority was ruled to be negligent.[14] He has also defended Bill O'Reilly from allegations of sexual harassment,[15] who was ultimately forced out at Fox News in April 2017.[16]

Donald Trump[edit]

According to a May 23, 2017 article in Forward, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres, and Friedman has been a "go-to source" for Donald Trump for decades.[9] He has represented Donald Trump in his divorce proceedings, bankruptcy cases,[12] Trump University lawsuits,[17] during the 2016 presidential campaign regarding sexual misconduct allegations,[18] and during the Trump presidency in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[4][19][20][21][22]

In Spring 2017, Kasowitz told associates that he had been personally responsible for the abrupt dismissal of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on March 11, 2017, having previously warned Trump, "This guy is going to get you".[23]

Kasowitz departed Trump's White House legal team on July 20, 2017.[5]

Russian clients[edit]

According to U.S. court records, Kasowitz's clients include the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and a business partner of Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. Kasowitz also represents the Russian state-owned bank Sberbank,[6][24] a bank under sanctions by the EU[25] and the United States[26][27] after Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.[28][29]

2017 threats against emailer[edit]

In 2017, ProPublica reported that Kasowitz may be ineligible for a federal security clearance due to his alcohol abuse.[30] After reading the articles, a currently unidentified individual sent an email to Kasowtiz urging him to "resign now." Kasowitz replied with a series of profanity-laced emails, some of which took a threatening tone, writing, "I'm on you now. You are fucking with me now Let's see who you are Watch your back, bitch," as well as "Call me. Don't be afraid, you piece of shit. Stand up. If you don't call, you're just afraid." And later: "I already know where you live, I'm on you. You might as well call me. You will see me. I promise. Bro."[31]

The emailer forwarded the emails to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to report the threats, and Kasowitz subsequently issued a statement saying "The person sending that email is entitled to his opinion, and I should not have responded in that inappropriate manner...This is one of those times where one wishes he could reverse the clock, but of course I can't."[32]

Personal life[edit]

Kasowitz is married to Lori Kasowitz, whom he met while she was working as a manager at Mayer Brown.[8] In 2001, they created the Marc E. and Lori A. Kasowitz Scholarship at Cornell Law School. In 2007, they pledged an additional $250,000 to the law school's endowment.[33] He and his twin brother, Stephen, also established a scholarship at Hopkins Grammar School, which they attended growing up.[8]

In recent years, Marc and Lori Kasowitz have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican causes and to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. They have also donated to Democratic politicians in the past, including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senators Chuck Schumer, and Harry Reid.[18]


  1. ^ Bump, Philip (June 8, 2017). "Team Trump's official response to the Comey testimony – now, with context". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 8, 2017. President Trump's personal attorney Marc Kasowitz accused government employees, including former FBI director James Comey, of "actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communication," on June 8.
  2. ^ Fabian, Jordan (June 8, 2017). "Trump lawyer accuses Comey of 'improperly' leaking memo to press". The Hill. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Noto, Anthony (May 24, 2017). "What you need to know about Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz". Biz Journals. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Sorkin, Andrew Ross (June 5, 2017). "Trump's Lawyer, Marc Kaswowitz: 'The Toughest of the Tough Guys'". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Marc Kasowitz and Mark Corallo depart Trump's legal team". CBS News. July 21, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Trump's lawyer in Russia probe has clients with Kremlin ties". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ "Obituaries: Kasowitz". Connecticut Jewish Ledger. January 14, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "Marc E. Kasowitz '77" (PDF). Cornell Law Forum. Cornell Law School. July 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 5, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Solomon, Daniel J. (May 23, 2017). "Trump Eyes Loyal Jewish Soldier As Lawyer, Defender In Russia Probe". The Forward. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  10. ^ Trimble, Megan (May 24, 2017). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Marc Kasowitz: Attorney Marc Kasowitz and President Donald Trump have known each other for decades". US News. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Beach, Randall (October 4, 2014). "Randall Beach: Kasowitz Antiques is back in business and so is Bernice". New Haven Register. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Marc Kasowitz helped Trump through bankruptcy and divorce. Now he's taking on the biggest case of his career". Los Angeles Times. May 24, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Amon, Elizabeth (August 2004). "Fast Rise to the Top" (PDF). The American Lawyer. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
  14. ^ Hartocollis, Anemona (October 27, 2005). "Port Authority Found Negligent in 1993 Bombing". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "Bill O'Reilly's future at Fox News looks doubtful". Los Angeles Times. April 18, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  16. ^ "Bill O'Reilly Is Forced Out at Fox News". The New York Times. April 19, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  17. ^ Ruiz, Rebecca R.; LaFraniere, Sharon (June 11, 2017). "Role of Trump's Personal Lawyer Blurs Public and Private Lines". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Harwell, Drew (October 16, 2016). "When Trump goes looking for a media brawl, this feared lawyer steps in". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  19. ^ "Marc Kasowitz is no stranger to Trump, but he is to Russia". Axios. January 26, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  20. ^ Bernstein, Jesse. "Marc Kasowitz Wasn't Trump's Choice For Russia Defense". The Forward. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  21. ^ "Who is Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz?". ABC News. May 29, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  22. ^ "A Hard-Hitting Litigator, Kasowitz Goes to Bat for Trump". The American Lawyer. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  23. ^ Eisinger, Jesse; Elliott, Justin (June 13, 2017). "Trump's Personal Lawyer Boasted That He Got Preet Bharara Fired". ProPublica. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  24. ^ Devine, Curt (May 24, 2017). "Trump lawyer in Russia probes has Russian ties of his own". CNN. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine". The Council of the European Union. July 31, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  26. ^ "Announcement of Expanded Treasury Sanctions within the Russian Financial Services, Energy and Defense or Related Materiel Sectors". US Department of the Treasury. September 12, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  27. ^ "Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities for Sanctions Evasion and Other Activities Related to Russia and Ukraine: Underscores U.S. Commitment To Work With The EU To Maintain The Efficacy Of Existing Sanctions Until Russia Fully Complies With Its International Obligations With Respect To Ukraine". US Department of the Treasury. December 22, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  28. ^ "EU sanctions set to push up costs for Russia's Sberbank". Reuters. August 1, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  29. ^ "Three years in: Status of the EU sanctions against Russia". Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  30. ^ Elliott, Justin (July 11, 2017). "Trump's Russia Lawyer Isn't Seeking Security Clearance, And May Have Trouble Getting One". ProPublica. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  31. ^ Elliott, Justin (July 13, 2017). "Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Threatens Stranger in Emails: 'Watch Your Back, Bitch'". ProPublica. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  32. ^ LaFraniere, Sharon (July 13, 2017). "Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Will Apologize After Sending Email Threats". New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  33. ^ "Kasowitzes Make 30th Reunion Gift". Cornell Law School. April 2007. Retrieved June 8, 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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