Stephen M. Ryan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Stephen Ryan (McDermott, Will & Emery)

With the ongoing investigations into President Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign and speculation being made about whether or not he obstructed justice, it seems that those in his administration have been told to lawyer up.

According to NBC News’ Katy Tur, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen has hired his own legal counsel. Tur, reporting on information a source gave her, said that Cohen has hired Stephen Ryan of McDermott, Will & Emery in Washington D.C. to represent him.

The move to hire Ryan comes months ahead of September 5, when Cohen will reportedly testify in front of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence publicly.

Ryan is an attorney that provides lobbying, litigation and counseling services for the “high-technology community and companies in highly regulated industries,” his bio on the firm’s website says.

Here’s what you need to know about Ryan:


1. Ryan is a Partner at a Prestigious D.C. Firm

(McDermott, Will & Emery)

Ryan works at the D.C. firm McDermott, Will & Emery where he’s the head of its Government Strategies practice. His biography says that while he specializes in representing companies in different industries, he also addresses the “combined legal, political and press related challenges stemming from congressional oversight and investigation.”

Ryan seems like he would be an ideal choice for Cohen, as it was reported May 30 that he’s now included in the investigation into Russian meddling. He confirmed to ABC News that investigators in Senate asked him “to provide information and testimony” regarding contacts that he had with those connected to the Russian government. He initially turned down the invitation, but has since switched courses.

“I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” he told the news outlet in an email.


2. Ryan Said Robert Mueller Was a Great Choice to Be Special Counsel

Robert Mueller family, Robert Mueller wife, Robert Mueller kids

Robert Mueller (Getty)

In a radio interview that Ryan gave to Federal News Radio, he said that the decision by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to bring Robert Mueller on board as the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation was a great choice.

Ryan said in the interview that Mueller is “sterling” and “is the best choice that could have been made, out of a handful of people, to actually get people to believe that the investigation will be independent and will satisfy the public that is independent.”

Listen to the full interview of Ryan with Federal Drive’s Tom Temin by clicking here.


3. Ryan Once Served as General Counsel for a Senate Committee

U.S. Senate logo (WikiMedia)

Ryan’s experience includes years of counsel within the government. He once served as general counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affair. In that role, he took part in many aspects of the committee’s oversight activities.

Before that, he served as deputy counsel for President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Organized Crime in the 1980s. On that commission, he directed numerous investigations including one against La Cosa Nostra, a notorious criminal organization.

In addition to those accomplishments, Ryan once served as an assistant U.S. attorney in D.C. where he spent time prosecuting criminal cases.

Nowadays, Ryan often tries cases for his lobbying clients. One of the cases that his biography gives as an example was when he argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against Enron.


4. Ryan Graduated from Notre Dame Law School

Michel Cohen (Getty)

Before entering the industry, Ryan had solid experience at some well-known schools. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Cornell University before attending University of Notre Dame Law School. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1980 and is able to practice law in the District of Columbia.

Out of law school, Ryan served as a law clerk for a federal judge and also taught for about 10 years as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law School.

Through his many years of legal experience, Ryan has been named to The Best Lawyers in America every year from 2005-2017. He also received recognition as being in the top 5 percent of political lawyers in D.C. by Super Lawyers.


5. He’s Been Very Active in the Community

Stephen Ryan (Hope Global Forums)

During his time as an attorney, Ryan has tried to remain active in the community. His biography says that he is a senior fellow on The International Strategic Studies Association’s College of Fellows and also once served as the president of Gonzaga College High School’s Father’s Club.

Currently, Ryan serves as a global board member for Operation HOPE, a nonprofit organization that’s silver rights empowerment and aims to make free enterprise work for everyone. It accomplishes that mission by being a nonprofit private banker for the working poor. He’s been a board member ever since 2011.

In addition to serving on the board there, he’s also a board member of the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C. and puts on the group’s annual “Will on the Hill” fundraiser. That even puts members of Congress on the stage and asks them to act.


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