The Daily Beast

He Repped Exxon Against the U.S. What’s He Doing on Team Biden?

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

President Biden recently nominated his former counselor Neil MacBride to be general counsel of the Treasury Department. If confirmed, MacBride would head up the department’s entire legal division, advising Treasury officials on how to enforce federal regulations. That’s a big job for someone whose record shows a pattern of helping corporations undermine those same federal regulations.

MacBride comes directly from corporate law firm Davis Polk, where he spent eight years leveraging his government experience as a U.S. attorney to defend Big Oil, Big Pharma, and many of the Wall Street giants which caused the 2008 financial crisis. He even sued the Treasury Department on behalf of climate villain ExxonMobil. If Biden’s goal is to undermine trust in government and abandon campaign promises, MacBride is an excellent choice—at Treasury, he would be advising on regulations that would impact the same corporations which have made him wealthy. The White House could not be reached for comment.

MacBride’s career history illustrates this well, beginning with his years at Davis Polk, which is no stranger to the revolving door between government regulators and corporate legal work. When he was hired, the managing director of Davis Polk said the hire reflected the firm’s desire to increase its presence in Washington at a time of heightened regulatory and criminal enforcement. MacBride then was partner and co-chaired Davis Polk’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Group.

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