President Donald J. Trump Announces White House Compliance Team
President Donald J. Trump today announced the appointment of the legal team who will serve under White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn with respect to Compliance and Ethics matters. Stefan C. Passantino has been commissioned to serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President along with Uttam Dhillon, Scott Gast and James D. Schultz who have been commissioned to serve as Special Assistants to the President and Associate Counsel to the President.
Stefan Passantino served as Chair of the Dentons Political Law team where he represented corporations, interest groups, political figures, and other entities with respect to ethics, election law, pay-to-play compliance, and state and federal lobbying laws. Stefan has served as counsel to numerous prominent political figures across the political spectrum including serving as chief campaign counsel for Senators Johnny Isakson and Roy Blunt and several Members of Congress. Stefan graduated from the Emory University School of Law where he was a Managing Editor of the Emory Law Journal.
Uttam Dhillon served as Chief Oversight Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. Prior to joining Financial Services, Uttam served as chief of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement. He previously worked as an Associate Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice, Chief Counsel for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, Policy Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Policy Committee, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles. Uttam graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987.
Scott Gast served as Investigative Counsel to the Office of Congressional Ethics. Prior to joining the Office of Congressional Ethics, Scott was an attorney at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP, where his practice focused on political law and white collar criminal defense and investigations. Scott graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review.
James Schultz was Chair of Cozen O'Connor's Government Law and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group. Prior to joining Cozen & O'Connor, Jim served as General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where he provided legal counsel to the governor and his executive staff and managed a legal organization of nearly 500 lawyers who served as counsel to 36 executive agencies and independent boards and commissions. Jim graduated from Widener University School of Law.
White House Counsel Don McGahn said "The appointment of a team of this caliber reflects the importance of ethics compliance to the President and this administration."
"As Speaker of the House, a presidential candidate, and businessman, I have relied on Stefan Passantino as my lawyer and counselor for almost twenty years" said former Speaker Newt Gingrich. "I have the utmost confidence that he will serve in the White House with professionalism and courage. No one understands the ethics process better than Stefan. He will stand firm for an administration that is above reproach. President Trump could not have picked a better professional for this job."
Former Democratic National Committee Chair and Presidential candidate Howard Dean said "I have worked with Stefan (from the other side of the aisle) for eight years. I have a lot of confidence that he will be clear about what the ethical and legal boundaries are in his advice to the White House, and I appreciate his willingness to serve the country."
“The President has made a very wise choice in his decision to appoint Stefan Passantino, who over the course of two decades has earned a reputation for excellence in advising corporations, elected officials and political organizations on ethics and compliance issues,” said U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, who is one of Passantino's clients and who serves as chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics. “Stefan brings a depth of knowledge and dedication to service that few could match.”
"Stefan is smart, tough and a total professional. He will be an asset to the White House, though I will miss having his good advice on compliance and ethics laws." -- U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.)