Jamil Jaffer has served as a White House lawyer for former President George W. Bush and senior counsel for the House Intelligence Committee, but one of the Los Angeles native’s most rewarding gigs is a job that isn’t even on his official résumé: helping Republican nominees get confirmed by the Senate.
Jaffer, who founded the National Security Institute at George Mason University and serves as vice president for strategy and business development at IronNet Cybersecurity, has worked as a volunteer behind-the-scenes on a slew of nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMenendez says he was also turned away from migrant processing facility Five ways Congress can address Central American migration right now Dem senator shares video of him being barred entry to immigration detention center MORE and, most recently, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo calls for Venezuela to be suspended from OAS State Dept recognizes LGBTI Month while White House doesn’t Trump says summit is on before reading 'nice' letter from Kim Jong Un MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel.
The confirmation kingpin says he likes to help nominees whom he either knows personally, such as Gorsuch and Nielsen, or highly qualified candidates who he thinks could use an extra boost, like Pompeo and Haspel.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Jaffer, a frequent presence on cable news. “When Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel are being attacked for no good reason, just because people don’t like the president, when they’re obviously highly qualified, highly capable people who deserve these jobs … that bothers me.”
Jaffer was a former law clerk for Gorsuch, who is now more than a year into his tenure. On Monday, Gorsuch joined the majority opinion in a closely watched Supreme Court ruling that sided with a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding.
Jaffer first dipped his toes into confirmation battles when he helped work on the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts. But the 41-year-old realized he would have another shot at helping a conservative jurist win a lifetime appointment to the high court when President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem leader blasts ICE chief for plans to speak to 'hate group' Christie: 'I have not been asked' to help Trump prepare for Mueller interview Papadopoulos's wife asks Trump to pardon her husband in Mueller probe MORE took the White House.
Gorsuch was not on Trump’s initial list of potential Supreme Court nominees, but his name was added to a second list. So Jaffer and a handful of other former Gorsuch law clerks banded together in an effort to provide outside support in any way...