Michael Dreeben, the longtime U.S. Justice Department appellate lawyer who was a criminal law expert on the special counsel’s team investigating Russia’s election interference, is retiring from federal government service, the National Law Journal reports. Dreeben had worked at the solicitor general office for 30 years and earned a reputation as the Justice Department’s preeminent expert on criminal law.
Dreeben made his 100th argument at the Supreme Court in 2016, earning praise from three justices at an event marking the occasion. “I know he will tell it straight,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remarked. Justice Elena Kagan lauded Dreeben for his “magnificent” advocacy and for helping her in 2009 and 2010 while she was serving as solicitor general. Dreeben, a 1981 graduate of Duke University School of Law, was one of two Supreme Court appellate lawyers who joined Robert Mueller’s investigative and prosecution team. “Michael Dreeben is to criminal law what Robert Mueller is to investigations,” Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, said when Dreeben joined the special counsel’s team. “Literally the very best.”