|Name||Lanny A. Breuer|
Washington, District of Columbia , United States
|| August 05, 1958
Mar 25, 2009 08:58pm
|Info||Breuer’s parents were both Jewish refugees — his dad from Austria and his mom from Germany — who fled Europe during World War II and settled in Queens, N.Y. Breuer is a New Yorker though and through. He grew up in New York, attended P.S. 13, and went to Columbia University for undergraduate and law school. In between his B.A. and his J.D., he worked as a teacher at the American School in Switzerland and as a consultant for Political Communications Inc., a political consulting firm no longer exists. |
During law school, Breuer worked as a summer associate for Kobin & Meyer in Oregon and Drinker Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia. After law school, he joined the Manhattan district attorney’s office and worked as a prosecutor for cases ranging from police corruption to organized crime to murder and armed robbery.
In 1989, Breuer moved to Washington D.C., where he took a job with the law firm of Covington & Burling and his wife, Nancy, joined the National Gallery of Art as the deputy general counsel. Breuer co-chaired the firm’s white collar defense and investigations practice, and became partner in 1995.
While at Covington, Breuer represented an openly gay Marine who sued the Clinton administration after being placed on stand-by reserve after disclosing to the Marines that he was gay. Breuer won the case, and the Marine was reinstated to active duty in October 1993.
A little more than three years later, Breuer was working in the White House, recruited by White House Counsel Charles Ruff, who worked with Breuer at Covington, and Jack Quinn, who Ruff replaced as White House counsel. He took a job as special counsel to the president, where he worked from February 1997 to April 1999, helping to defend Clinton during the House impeachment investigation and Senate trial. “I don't think I'm politically adept,” Breuer said in September 1997. “It's not like I'm some great political strategist. I'm good at bridging different opinions and coming up with a consensus."
If Breuer came to the White House as a neophyte, he learned quickly. And he left regarded as one of the most politically-savvy lawyers in the city. “During his tenure as special counsel, Mr. Breuer represented the president and White House staff in the presidential impeachment hearings and trial, four independent counsel investigations, a Justice Department task force investigation and numerous congressional oversight investigations,” read Covington’s announcement upon Breuer’s return to the firm.
In 1999, Breuer returned to Covington as a partner in to continue his work with the firm’s white-collar defense group. He remained at the firm until after Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election and tapped Breuer as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The criminal division is charged with enforcing all federal laws, and it works hand-in-hand with the 93 U.S. attorneys around the country. It also develops enforcement policy and oversees the Witness Security Program.
Since leaving the Clinton White House, Breuer has volunteered, primarily as a part of vetting teams, for the Democratic presidential campaigns of Al Gore (2000), Wesley Clark (2003 to 2004), John F. Kerry (2004), Hillary Rodham Clinton (2007 to 2008) and Barack Obama (2008). He also had volunteered for Paul Tsongas’ presidential campaign in 1992 before joining the Clinton White House. He worked for Obama’s vetting team before the president nominated him to be assistant attorney general.