Ed O'Callaghan

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Ed O'Callaghan
Ed O'Callaghan official portrait.jpg
Acting United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
May 13, 2019 – May 22, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Attorney GeneralWilliam Barr
Preceded byRod Rosenstein
Succeeded byJeffrey A. Rosen
Personal details
Edward Casey O'Callaghan[1]
Political partyRepublican
EducationGeorgetown University (BA)
New York University (JD)

Edward Casey O'Callaghan is an American Republican lawyer, former co-chief of the terrorism and national security unit of the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, who resigned from the US Attorney's Office in July 2008 to join John McCain's presidential campaign. One of three leaders of Sarah Palin's Alaska "truth squad," O'Callaghan became the public face of Palin's legal pushback against ethics charges related to her former brother-in-law, the so-called "Troopergate." From 2009 to 2011, he worked at the law firm Nixon Peabody, then from 2011 to 2017 he was a partner at the New York office of law firm Clifford Chance. In 2017, he became the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the National Security Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.[2]

Sarah Palin "truth squad"[edit]

In 2008, O'Callaghan co-led what the Anchorage Daily News called "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.[3] (His two co-leaders were Karl Rove protegee Brian Jones, and Washington lawyer Mark Paoletta.)

Paoletta, Jones, and O'Callaghan were "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."[4] Paoletta and Jones were volunteers while O'Callaghan was on staff.[5]

O'Callaghan was sent to Alaska to handle "legal issues that are affecting the political dynamic of the campaign," according to Taylor Griffin, a former Treasury Department official in the Bush administration.[6] Newsweek described O'Callaghan's role as "helping to direct an aggressive legal strategy aimed at shutting down a pre-election ethics investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin." Working with Palin's attorney Thomas Van Flein, O'Callaghan worked to block the investigation. "There was no Ethics Act violation and there is no need to go forward with this," O'Callaghan told reporters.[7]

The Alaska Personnel Board concluded that Palin did not violate the Alaska Executive Ethics Act by trying to get her brother-in-law fired. Alaska Personnel Board investigations are normally secret, but the three-member board chose to release its report one day before the Presidential election.[8]

Private practice[edit]

O'Callaghan moved into private practice in March 2009 when the law firm Nixon Peabody announced he had joined its Government Investigations and White Collar Defense Practice Group.[9] In 2011, he joined the international law firm Clifford Chance in New York as a Partner in its White Collar, Regulatory Enforcement and Government Investigations practice group.[10] Since joining Clifford Chance, O'Callaghan has worked on several high-profile representations, including Achilles Macris, who was head of the London branch of JP Morgan’s chief investment office, where the trader nicknamed the "London Whale," Bruno Iksil, worked; [11] Jeffrey Webb, the former President of CONCACAF and FIFA Executive Committee Member, in the criminal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) indictment pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York; [12] and Fokker Services, B.V., in the successful negotiation of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with DOJ involving historical violations of the U.S. sanctions, and related court proceedings in United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Fokker case represented a landmark victory that established important constitutional limits on judicial review of DPAs.[13]

Government service[edit]

In 2017, he became the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the National Security Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.[2]

In April 2018, he became the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, replacing Robert K. Hur.[14][15]


  1. ^ https://www.martindale.com/new-york/new-york/edward-casey-ocallaghan-496905-a/
  2. ^ a b Anna Ward (November 13, 2017). "Clifford Chance Partner Joins US Department of Justice". Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  3. ^ Anchorage Daily News (September 18, 2008) "Campaign fields Palin questions" Archived February 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Palin team stocked with Bush veterans". POLITICO. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  5. ^ "Atlantic (September 9, 2008) "McCain Campaign Stands Up Palin Truth-Squadding Team"". Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  6. ^ Fox News (September 17, 2008) "McCain operatives flock to Alaska, head off embarrassing disclosures about Palin"[dead link]
  7. ^ "McCain Lawyer Tries to Shut Down the Palin Ethics Probe". Newsweek. September 15, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  8. ^ "AP report in Chicago Sun Times (November 3, 2008) "Report clears Sarah Palin in Troopergate"". Archived from the original on February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  9. ^ "Former AUSA Edward O'Callaghan Joins Nixon Peabody in New York". www.securitiesdocket.com. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  10. ^ Protess, Ben. "Clifford Chance Hires 3 Ex-Prosecutors". DealBook. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  11. ^ "Top UK Court To Weigh Banker Rights In London Whale Case - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  12. ^ "Banned FIFA Official Pleads Not Guilty To Racketeering". July 18, 2015. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  13. ^ "Clifford Chance Partner Edward O'Callaghan on the Fokker Services Deferred Prosecution - Corporate Crime Reporter". Corporate Crime Reporter. August 11, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Jarrett, Laura (April 3, 2018). "Rosenstein gets new top deputy for Russia probe". CNN. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Kutner, Max (April 7, 2018). "Rod Rosenstein's top deputy once worked to thwart a Sarah Palin investigation". Newsweek. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Rod Rosenstein
United States Deputy Attorney General

Succeeded by
Jeffrey A. Rosen