Ty Cobb goes to White House

Man who de­fended Qwest of­fi­cials caught in fi­nan­cial scan­dal will work for Pres­i­dent Trump.

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Tom McGhee

The pres­i­dent’s new­est lawyer, Ty Cobb, who de­fended Qwest of­fi­cials caught up in the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial scan­dal in Den­ver early this cen­tury, is the ideal ad­vo­cate for an ad­min­is­tra­tion pinned in a harsh me­dia spot­light, ac­cord­ing to a for­mer fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor who faced off against him.

Cobb is “un­sur­passed” in show­ing

Ty Cobb fa­vor­able facets of a client whom pros­e­cu­tors might oth­er­wise con­sider dis­agree­able and un­ap­peal­ing, said David Vic­i­nanzo, now head of the gov­ern­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tions prac­tice at Bos­ton law firm Nixon Pe­abody.

The White House named Cobb, a for­mer fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor who was man­ag­ing part­ner at Ho­gan & Hart­son’s Den­ver of­fice in 2004, spe­cial coun­sel on Satur­day. In his new po­si­tion, he will be in charge of over­see­ing the White House’s le­gal and me­dia re­sponse to in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 cam­paign, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg News.

On Fri­day, Cobb re­signed from Ho­gan Lovells, which was formed in 2010 by a merger of Lovells LLP and Ho­gan & Hart­son.

Cobb could not be reached for com­ment Sun­day.

In ex­pe­ri­ence, tal­ent and abil­ity, Cobb is sim­i­lar to spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller, who leads the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Vic­i­nanzo said Sun­day.

As a fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor in the 1990s, Vic­i­nanzo was in charge of a task force in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged cam­paign-fi­nance vi­o­la­tions.

Cobb was de­fend­ing John Huang, a Demo­cratic fundraiser for for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton dur­ing the 1996 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The GOP char­ac­ter­ized Huang as a Chi­nese Com­mu­nist agent try­ing to in­flu­ence the elec­tion for Democrats, Vic­i­nanzo said in an email.

“At some point, Ty al­lowed me to meet his client and get to know him. I was sur­prised to learn, among other things, that Huang was Tai­wanese be­fore em­i­grat­ing to the U.S. as a child, and an evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tian.”

Huang had com­mit­ted a cam­paign-fi­nance vi­o­la­tion, an of­fense treated mildly by Democrats and Repub­li­cans in those times, Vic­i­nanzo said.

The pros­e­cu­tor left the meet­ing with a more ac­cu­rate per­spec­tive on Huang. “He was noth­ing like the dom­i­nant me­dia nar­ra­tive, twisted as it can be­come by po­lit­i­cal machi­na­tion.”

Huang was sen­tenced to one year of pro­ba­tion.

“Ty is re­ally good at see­ing, and com­mu­ni­cat­ing all sides of the is­sue to pros­e­cu­tors who, to that point, may have only seen one side. He is smart and can be ap­pro­pri­ately com­bat­ive. Some­body is mak­ing good le­gal de­ci­sions if one of them is the de­ci­sion to hire Ty Cobb.”

Cobb honed his in­stincts for court­room battle dur­ing six years in the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Mary­land, two of them as chief of crim­i­nal cases.

In a 2004 Den­ver Post pro­file, he de­scribed him­self as a reg­is­tered Repub­li­can and a “Kansas pop­ulist.”

At the time, the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion was in­ves­ti­gat­ing Den­ver- based Qwest’s book­ing of rev­enues from one-time sales of equip­ment and fiber-op­tic swaps, all the while telling in­vestors the in­come was re­cur­ring.

The com­pany erased $2.5 bil­lion in rev­enues for the years 2000 and 2001 af­ter Wall Street an­a­lysts raised ques­tions about Qwest’s ac­count­ing. Cobb took on cases of sev­eral Qwest ex­ec­u­tives who were ei­ther un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion or named in law­suits against the com­pany. He pro­cured set­tle­ments for Lewis Wilks, leader of Qwest’s in­ter­net and mul­ti­me­dia mar­kets, and Stephen Ja­cob­sen, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of busi­ness mar­kets. Civil cases against both were dis­missed, and no charges brought.

The Qwest case was one of the largest cor­po­rate malfea­sance in­ves­ti­ga­tions to arise in Den­ver.

It’s the kind of case that makes Cobb swoon.

“The more com­pli­cated the bet­ter, the higher the stakes the bet­ter, the more con­tro­ver­sial the bet­ter,” he said.

“Ty is re­ally good at see­ing, and com­mu­ni­cat­ing all sides of the is­sue to pros­e­cu­tors who, to that point, may have only seen one side.”

David Vic­i­nanzo, head of the gov­ern­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tions prac­tice at Bos­ton law firm Nixon Pe­abody

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