Mark Paoletta

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Mark Paoletta
Mark Paoletta.jpg
Mark Paoletta in 2017
General Counsel for the Office of Management and Budget
Assumed office
January 8, 2018
LeaderMick Mulvaney
Preceded byJames W. Carroll
Counsel to the Vice President
In office
January 20, 2017 – January 5, 2018
Vice PresidentMike Pence
Preceded byCynthia Hogan
Succeeded byMatt Morgan
Personal details
EducationDuquesne University (BS)
Georgetown University

Mark Paoletta is an American attorney serving as general counsel to the Office of Management and Budget since January 8, 2018. Prior to his current post, Paoletta served as chief counsel and assistant to Vice President Mike Pence from January 20, 2017 to January 5, 2018.[1] Paoletta was a lawyer specializing in representing clients in congressional investigations.[2][3]

Political and legal career[edit]

Mark Paoletta is a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm DLA Piper and partner in the firm's Federal Law and Policy practice. He has represented numerous companies and individuals, including a major hedge funds and foreign and domestic banks, according to Bisnow on Business.[4] Paoletta has represented Scott Jennings, a former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, in connection with the various investigations into the firings of U.S. Attorneys. In 2007, Paoletta appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee as counsel for Scott Jennings, who had been directed by President Bush to not answer certain questions based on an assertion of executive privilege. In a letter to Chairman Leahy and Senator Specter, White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding indicated that President George W. Bush would assert executive privilege regarding Jennings' testimony. The letter indicates that Jennings was made aware of the President's decision and was directed not to provide any testimony covered by the assertion.[5]

Based on this directive, Paoletta told CNN his client would "appear before the Judiciary Committee but would refuse to answer questions he feels are covered by executive privilege."[6] In a Washington Post article, Paoletta also said that Jennings would "cooperate to the best of his ability."[7]

Paoletta's work representing strength trainer Brian McNamee in the 2008 United States Congressional hearing on Roger Clemens was highlighted in the book, American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime by Teri Thompson, Nathaniel Vinton, Michael O'Keeffe, and Christian Red.[8]

Paoletta has participated in several oversight training seminars for congressional staff and is featured in the Project on Government Oversight's The Art of Congressional Oversight: A User’s Guide to Doing It Right.[9] Paoletta has also been interviewed about his oversight work on Federal News Radio.[10]

In November 2007, Paoletta was selected to serve as outside counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Voting Irregularities of August 2, 2007. [11] The final report of the committee, issued in September 2008, included recommendations to modify clause 2(a) of rule XX of the House Rules.[12] The findings of the committee resulted in the 111th Congress adopting H. Res. 5 – Adopting the Rules for the One Hundred Eleventh Congress, which removed the rule language related to the August 2007 incident, "A record vote by electronic device shall not be held open for the sole purpose of reversing the outcome of such vote." [13]

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Paoletta served as Chief Counsel for Oversight & Investigations for the House Energy and Commerce Committee from September 1997 until January 2007, according to his firm's bio and a September 28, 2006 story in The Wall Street Journal, which also describes his working style.[14][15] According to a 2003 National Journal profile of Paoletta, which highlighted his work on the committee, he served as the behind-the-scenes engineer for the committee's high-profile hearings on Enron, Global Crossing, and Martha Stewart, and raised the committee's profile and widened the breadth of its investigative work.[16]

During his tenure as Chief Counsel for Oversight & Investigations, Paoletta managed nearly 200 investigative hearings.[14] In a report released in February 2007, Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a compilation of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee's work from 2001 through 2006 (during Paoletta's tenure as Chief Counsel) that served "as a road map through many of the great government and corporate scandals of this decade." [17] The report highlighted numerous hearings and investigations held by the Subcommittee, including the Ford Explorer/Firestone tire safety controversy and corporate accountability investigations into Enron, Global Crossing, Qwest, HealthSouth, and ImClone, as well as Medicare reimbursements, which resulted in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which resulted in legislation saving $15.7 billion over ten years.[18]

Paoletta's work in the Enron investigation was highlighted in the book Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story, by Kurt Eichenwald.[19] Paoletta wrote about his work on the Committee in a February 5, 2007 article in Roll Call.[20] Paoletta also co-authored a piece entitled "Storm Clouds on the Horizon – Congressional Investigations 101."[21]

According to his official bio on DLA Piper's website, Paoletta served as Assistant Counsel to the President during the George H. W. Bush administration, where he played a key role in the successful confirmation effort of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. [14] Paoletta subsequently created a website to promote Thomas's autobiography, My Grandfather's Son, as well as positive stories by others about Thomas.[22]

In his book Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, David Brock alleges that Paoletta gave him damaging details about the personal history of Kay Savage to prevent her from giving testimony against Thomas. Paoletta has denied Brock's accusations, as have several others mentioned in the same book.[23][24]

In another book that attacked Paoletta's work on behalf of Justice Thomas, entitled Strange Justice by Jill Abramson and Jane Mayer, Paoletta won a letter of apology from the book's publisher, Houghton Mifflin, according to the Columbia Business Review,[25][26]

Role on Palin's "truth squad"[edit]

Paoletta was a volunteer on the Reagan-Bush 1984 and Bush-Quayle 1988 presidential campaigns, and according to the Anchorage Daily News (September 18, 2008), most recently he was one of three leaders of "a cadre of high-powered operatives" described by John McCain's campaign as a "truth squad" to field questions about and push back on attacks against vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.[27] (Paoletta's two co-leaders are Karl Rove protegee Brian Jones and Republican lawyer Ed O'Callaghan.) According to the Atlantic Monthly (September 9, 2008), Paoletta and Jones are volunteers while O'Callaghan is on staff.[28]

According to Yahoo News, Paoletta, Jones, and O'Callaghan are "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."[29]

Counsel to the Vice President[edit]

On January 5, 2017 Paoletta along with then Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, and Don McGahn helped Donald Trump vet Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.[1]

On January 25, 2017 Mark Paoletta was named as chief counsel and assistant to the Vice President.[30] In January 2018, Paoletta left the Vice President's office to become the General Counsel for the Office of Management and Budget.

Personal life[edit]

Paoletta received a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.[16]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Liptak, Adam (February 6, 2017). "How Trump Chose His Supreme Court Nominee". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  2. ^ Sarasohn, Judy (November 30, 2006). "Everett to Take Helm at Black Think Tank" – via
  3. ^
  4. ^ Legal Bisnow (March 18, 2009) "Road Tripper"
  5. ^ White House Counsel to the President, Fred Fielding (August 1, 2007) Archived November 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Rove a no-show at hearing, aide skirts questions -".
  7. ^ "Prosecutor to Interview Key Witnesses About U.S. Attorney Firings". February 12, 2009 – via
  8. ^ Thompson, Teri; Vinton, Nathaniel; O'Keeffe, Michael; Red, Christian (May 11, 2009). "American Icon" – via
  9. ^ Project on Government Oversight (July 10, 2009) "Asserting and Defending the Powers of Oversight: The Relative Powers of Congress and the Executive Branch" Archived November 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Federal News Radio".
  11. ^ Mike Pence (December 4, 2007) "Pence and Delahunt Announce Staff for Select Committee" Archived June 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Mike Pence (September 25, 2008) "Select Committee Completes Work: Republicans Were Right, The Vote Was Wrong" Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Section-by-Section of Rule Changes – 111th Congress Archived January 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ a b c "DLA Piper, Global Law Firm - United States - Our People - Mark R. Pao…". January 21, 2013. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
  15. ^ Lattman, Peter (September 28, 2006). "The Mysterious, Strapping Whisperer".
  16. ^ a b "National Journal (June 21, 2003) "The Hill People - House Energy and Commerce Committee"".
  17. ^ "News Center". Energy and Commerce Committee.
  18. ^ House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans (February 7, 2007) "Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Accomplishments" Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ USA Today (July 26, 2002) "Rep. Tauzin Turns Business Scandals Into Must-See TV"
  20. ^ "Roll Call (February 5, 2007) "Oversight Never Ended at Energy and Commerce"".
  21. ^ The Advisor (Spring 2008) "Congressional Investigations: Storm Clouds on the Horizon" Archived February 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "". Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  23. ^ Ellison, Michael (June 28, 2001). "I lied for rightwing supreme court judge". Retrieved August 1, 2018 – via The Guardian.
  24. ^ "NPR - All Things Considered". Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  25. ^ "Kirkland & Ellis LLP > Press Mentions".
  26. ^ Washington Times (August 8, 1995) "'Strange Justice’ to Mark Paoletta
  27. ^ "Anchorage Daily News (September 18, 2008) "Campaign fields Palin questions"". Archived from the original on February 14, 2009.
  28. ^ "Atlantic – "McCain Campaign Stands Up Palin Truth-Squadding Team"". September 9, 2008. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008.
  29. ^ "Yahoo News (Sep 10, 2008) "Palin team stocked with Bush veterans"". Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  30. ^ "Vice President Mike Pence Announces Andrea Thompson as National Security Advisor". January 25, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2017.