Donald Trump’s Catholic lawyer

Donald Trump’s Catholic lawyer October 10, 2019

His White House counsel Pat Cipollone is getting a lot of ink these days — and The New York Times details his Catholic background:

The son of an Italian-born factory worker and homemaker, Mr. Cipollone spent much of his childhood in the Bronx. After his father was transferred to Kentucky, Mr. Cipollone attended Covington Catholic High School before returning to New York to attend Fordham University.

A debate champion and intramural athlete, he worked days in Fordham’s computer center and summers in construction, factory and clerical jobs. He was the class of 1988’s valedictorian, graduating first in a class of 650 with a degree in economics and political philosophy. Already interested in constitutional law, he wrote a senior thesis on “Substantive Due Process and the 14th Amendment.”

…Mr. Cipollone and his wife, Rebecca Cipollone, have 10 children. The youngest is a 10-year-old son and the oldest a 26-year-old daughter, who works at Fox News for Laura Ingraham, the conservative commentator, who was introduced to Catholicism by Mr. Cipollone.

Mr. Cipollone is a founder of the National Prayer Breakfast, participates in the anti-abortion March for Life, and events that draw Washington’s Catholic elite, like the Red Mass, celebrated each year at St. Matthew’s Cathedral on the Sunday before the Supreme Court session begins. (Mr. Cipollone was absent when the event was held this past weekend.)

After his stint with Mr. Barr, Mr. Cipollone joined the law firm Kirkland & Ellis in Washington. In the mid-1990s, he moved his family to Connecticut and took a job as general counsel for a Kirkland & Ellis client, the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization and multibillion dollar insurance company.

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He’s also shown a deep interest in strengthening relations with the Jewish community:  

Co-founder of Pro-Israel America and the managing partner of the law firm Stein Mitchell Beato & Missner LLP, [Jonathan] Missner told JNS that he and Cipollone, an active member of the Catholic community, have a personal and professional relationship that has included traveling together to Israel multiple times, with Cipollone accompanying him to synagogue during one trip. (He said he has known Cipollone since 2013.)

And for the past four years, Cipollone has sat next to Missner at Kol Nidre at the latter’s synagogue on Yom Kippur, as he intends to do again this year.

In January 2016, the two went to a Catholic mass at Saint Peter’s in Jaffa that was entirely in Hebrew and included the Jewish blessing over wine, in addition to other prayers. They said they were both struck by the frequent overlap during one another’s services.

Missner said that Cipollone taught him “a lot about the history of Catholicism, their relationship with Jews and why Catholics love Israel.”

“He’s a Zionist. Period. Pat loves Israel” based on his devout belief in his religion and G-d, according to Missner. FSI was a perfect fit, bringing together Missner’s and Cipollone’s deep connections from their respective communities.


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