Bice: Milwaukee law firm ‘concerned’ by attorney’s role in Trump call trying to upend Georgia election results

Cleta Mitchell, a partner with the Foley & Lardner law firm

A Milwaukee-based law firm is distancing itself from one of the attorneys involved in President Donald Trump’s disturbing call trying to overturn the results of the Georgia election. 

Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner, participated in the Saturday call in which Trump pressured the Georgia secretary of state to “find” 11,780 votes to help Trump win that state’s election. 

In a statement, a spokesman for Foley said the firm does not represent “any parties seeking to contest the results of the presidential election.”

“We are aware of, and are concerned by, Ms. Mitchell’s participation in the Jan. 2 conference call and are working to understand her involvement more thoroughly,” Dan Farrell, director of communication for Foley, said in a statement Monday.

Farrell added that the firm made a decision in November not to take on any clients involved in any matters related to the November presidential election. Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, defeated Trump with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. 

Members of Congress will meet on Wednesday to certify the results of the election. A minority group of Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, are expected to object to Biden’s victory. 

RELATED:Paul Ryan excoriates planned GOP effort to challenge Biden’s Electoral College win as ‘anti-democratic and anti-conservative’

In his statement, Farrell said the firm did allow for its attorneys to participate in recounts and related matters as long as they were acting as private citizens and not serving as legal advisers. 

Mitchell was not immediately available to respond to the statement from her firm. 

Earlier, she issued a statement to the Washington Post defending the disturbing call. She said the Georgia secretary of state “has made many statements over the past two months that are simply not correct and everyone involved with the efforts on behalf of the President’s election challenge has said the same thing: show us your records on which you rely to make these statements that our numbers are wrong.”

Mitchell and her law firm have come under fire on social media since details of Trump’s hourlong call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over the weekend were first reported by the Post.

The first-term Republican president was joined on the call by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and several lawyers, including Mitchell, who Meadows said “is not the attorney of record but has been involved.” This was the first that the public knew that she was involved in the attempt to overturn the results of the November contest.

“Is there a point that one’s attorney becomes part of a client’s criminal conspiracy?” former U.S. Rep. Tom Coleman,R-Missouri, tweeted. “Asking because on the Trump tape his attorney, Cleta Mitchell, is involved with offering questions and comments to the GA Sec. of State.”

The Lincoln Project, which was formed by anti-Trump Republicans, posted Foley’s Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., phone numbers in a post that had been retweeted more than 7,500 times by Monday afternoon. 

“@cletamitchell of @foleyandlardner was on the phone with @realdonaldtrump when he threatened & pressured @GaSecofState to overturn the will of Georgia voters. How does that make you feel? Tell them.”

Mitchell, who is based in D.C., has represented a number of right-wing and GOP groups, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Rifle Association and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

She is also a longtime board member and the current board secretary for the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, which has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into building the national conservative political infrastructure.

The Bradley Foundation said in a statement that it cannot be involved in politics because it is a nonprofit.

“We do not comment on our directors, and it certainly would not be appropriate for us to discuss a director’s clients or legal practice,” the foundation said. 

During the Saturday phone call, Mitchell pressed the Georgia secretary of state about his investigation into the state election. His probe confirmed that Biden narrowly won the state, earning its 16 electoral votes. 

“You have data and records that we don’t have access to and you keep telling us and making public statements that you’ve investigated this and, you know, nothing to see here,” Mitchell said, according to a transcript in the Wall Street Journal. “But we don’t know about that. All we know is what you tell us.”

But Raffensperger pushed back.

“President Trump, we’ve had several lawsuits, and we’ve had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions,” the secretary of state said. “We don’t agree that you have won.”

Contact Daniel Bice at (414) 313-6684 or dbice@jrn.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielBice or on Facebook at fb.me/daniel.bice.