George Conway III: Silent partner of a Trump admin power couple

Rene Pastor
George Conway III: Silent partner of a Trump admin power couple
Filipino-American lawyer George Conway III, husband of presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, was recently picked by US President Donald Trump as the head of the US Justice Department's civil division

NEW YORK CITY, USA – In many ways, George Conway III is a bit of a sphinx.

The sphinx looks out on the eternal sands of the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, inscrutable for millennia, and a bit unwilling to give up its secrets.

George Conway III has turned down one interview request after another from news organizations curious to know more about the husband of Kellyanne Conway, the ubiquitous spokesperson and adviser of President Donald Trump, after he was named to head the civil division in the Justice Department.

Emailed questions sent by Rappler to Conway at his law firm and the Justice Department were not answered.

David Lat, managing editor of Above the Law, said Conway’s mother is a Filipina who came to the US in the 1950s.

“He still has relatives in the Philippines, although it’s not clear how often he visits them, or whether he has been to the country at all,” said Lat, whose website covers the world of law and legal personalities in the United States.

Lat said he first met Conway over 15 years ago.

“I’ve known George for more than 15 years, going back to when I worked at Wachtell Lipton as a litigation associate, and I consider him a friend. We email from time to time, have lunch maybe every few years, and sometimes see each other at the annual Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention in November,” he said, adding he reached out to Conway by email for an article on his possible consideration for the Solicitor General position that eventually went to another Filipino-American, Noel Francisco.

Conway has had long experience battling the Clintons, mainly Bill and lately Hillary. He played a key role in the background of the cases leading up to the Monica Lewinsky scandal against Bill Clinton, but kept his role hush-hush because some members of his law firm were high-profile Democrats in the Clinton White House in the 1990s.  

Conway is a member of the Federalist Society, which said on its website that it “is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order.” The group continued: “It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.”

It is a principle in the mainstream of Republican Party thought that judges should not legislate from the bench and be strict interpreters of the US Constitution.

FAMILY TIME. The Conway family poses for a photo during a New York Yankees game, June 30, 2016. Photo courtesy Kellyanne Conway/ Twitter/@kellyannepolls

At that time, Conway  said to American Politics: “I’m a member of the Federalist Society, but I mean, what’s that got to do with anything?”

Conway is a graduate of Harvard College, where he received an A.B. magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences in 1984. He received his J.D. in 1987 from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Before joining Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in 1988, he served as a law clerk to Circuit Judge Ralph K. Winter, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

An experienced litigator in Wachtell, Conway is going to lead a department of about 1,000 lawyers which will take the point in defending the immigration policies of Trump ranging from the wall on the border of Mexico to travel bans against people from Muslim majority countries.

“His litigation experience has included a variety of high-profile matters spanning many areas of law in federal and state courts throughout the country. He has extensive experience in securities litigation, mergers and acquisitions litigation, contract litigation, antitrust litigation, and other litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels,” the website of Wachtell said in describing Conway.

The Conway family lives in Alpine, New Jersey. It is a zip code that Forbes magazine calls the second most expensive in the US and where the average price of a house stands at over US$5.7 million. That was Alpine, New Jersey, about 5 years ago.

The only zip code that surpasses the wealth of the houses in Alpine is in New York City.

One of the things the Conway family loves to do is to take in baseball games. The family is avid fans of the New York Yankees. –

Rene Pastor is a journalist in the New York metropolitan area who writes about agriculture, politics and regional security. He was, for many years, a senior commodities journalist for Reuters. He recently founded the financial news website Commodities according to Rene and Jack. He wrote about agriculture and developed expertise in the El Niño phenomenon and his views have been quoted in news reports. 

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