Beth Wilkinson

Beth Ann Wilkinson (born September 19, 1962)[1][2] is an American lawyer based in Washington, D.C. She is a founding partner of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, a specialty trial and litigation law firm.[3] Formerly, she was a partner in the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison law firm, where she worked in their Washington, D.C. office focusing on white collar criminal defense. Wilkinson began her legal career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, and she has also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in New York City.

Beth Wilkinson
Beth Ann Wilkinson

(1962-09-19) September 19, 1962 (age 58)
Spouse(s)David Gregory
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1987–1991
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain

Wilkinson is known for successfully arguing for the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.[4] She has also been a critic of unfair administration of the death penalty.[5]

Early life and educationEdit

Wilkinson is a daughter of Judith and Robert Wilkinson of Richland, Washington. Her father is a retired Navy submarine captain and served as the director of the nuclear spent-fuel project in Hanford, Washington.[6] Wilkinson graduated with a B.A. from Princeton University in 1984 and later graduated with a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.[6]


She joined the United States Army's Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG Corps) after law school, serving at the rank of Captain as an assistant for intelligence and special operations in the office of the Army's general counsel. That office detailed her as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida to assist with the use of classified information in the prosecution of Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega.[7] In April 2012, she was hired as outside counsel by the Federal Trade Commission to lead an antitrust inquiry into Google.[8]

Justice DepartmentEdit

After completing her four-year obligation to the U.S. Army, Wilkinson became a full-time Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in 1991, prosecuting various kinds of cases including narcotics, white collar offenses, and violent crimes. Among her cases was the first United States prosecution of a bombing of an airliner—the 1994 case against Colombian narcoterrorist Dandeny Muñoz Mosquera, whom she successfully prosecuted for the bombing of an Avianca civilian airliner as well as murder of U.S. citizens and other drug-related crimes.[9]

Wilkinson won the Justice Department's highest honor, The Attorney General's Exceptional Service Award, for her work on the Mosquera case. She then became special counsel to the deputy attorney general, advising the top management of the Department on criminal policy and investigations. She was promoted to principal deputy of the Department's Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, and it was in that capacity that she participated in the trial team in U.S. vs. McVeigh and Terry Nichols. She won the Attorney General's Exceptional Service Award an unprecedented second time.[7]

After the Justice DepartmentEdit

After leaving the Justice Department, Wilkinson became a co-chair with Gerald Kogan of the Constitution Project's Death Penalty Committee of the Criminal Justice Program, "a bipartisan committee of death penalty supporters and opponents who all agree that the risk of wrongful executions in this country has become too high." [10] She also became a partner in Latham & Watkins, LLP, Washington, D.C., where she co-chaired the White Collar Practice Group and advised clients on internal investigations.[7]

Fannie MaeEdit

In 2006, Fannie Mae recruited Wilkinson as parts of its effort to rebuild its relationship with regulators after accounting scandals and complaints about its corporate culture. Her compensation at Fannie Mae was not disclosed when she was hired.[11] She served as Fannie Mae's executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary from February 2006 until September 2008.[12]

She resigned her position at Fannie Mae along with three other senior executives on September 19, 2008, after the troubled mortgage giant was taken over by the government.[13]

Paul Weiss PartnerEdit

In 2009, Wilkinson was elected to partnership in the prominent New York City law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.[14] According to the firm's website, Wilkinson's practice will focus on general litigation.[15] In September 2018, NBC News reported that Wilkinson was assisting Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh in his response to the allegation that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford while they were in high school.[16]

Hillary Clinton email controversyEdit

In a letter addressed to Congress on February 10, 2016, Wilkinson announced that she was representing four of Hillary Clinton's closest aides: Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines.[17]

Michael Flynn caseEdit

In June 2020, Wilkinson represented[18][19] Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which was concerned with resolving former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's petition for writ of mandamus[20] in a criminal proceeding against General Flynn. As the trial judge, Sullivan didn't immediately grant a United States Department of Justice request to drop criminal charges against Flynn, subsequent to Flynn's guilty plea, but instead appointed retired United States District Judge John Gleeson as an Amicus curiae, "friend of the court,"[21] and scheduled an oral argument on government's motion. Before the hearing, the Washington Post described Sullivan's hiring of an attorney as a "rare step that adds to this criminal case’s already unusual path".[22] On June 24, the DC Cicuit court panel granted Flynn's petition in a 2-1 ruling, "direct[ing] the district court to grant the government’s Rule 48(a) motion to dismiss ... [and] vacat[ing] the district court’s order appointing an amicus as moot," with Judge Rao writing for the majority and Judge Wilkins dissenting, and the panel unanimously denied the request that the case be reassigned to another judge.[23][24] While initially a lost for Wilkinson, the DC Circuit court agreed to re-hear the case again pursuant to an en banc hearing. Ultimately, the DC Circuit on August 31 reversed the panel's decision, denied Flynn's counsel request for a writ of mandamus and denied the request to assign the case to a different judge, allowing Sullivan to rule on the Justice Department motion to drop or uphold the prosecution. A substantial win for Wilkinson, the Judges Karen Henderson, a George W. Bush appointee and Neomi Rao, a Donald Trump appointee dissented in the 8-2 decision.[25][26] The two judges who ruled in favor of Flynn in June, Rao and Henderson, also reversed their earlier position that the case should not be taken from Sullivan and assigned to another judge in their dissent.[27]

Washington Football TeamEdit

In July 2020, Wilkinson was hired to investigate claims of sexual harassment and other workplace-related misconduct within the Washington Football Team, an American football organization belonging to the National Football League (NFL).[28] The investigation was initially overseen by team owner Daniel Snyder before the NFL took over the following month.[29]


She married David Gregory, former moderator of NBC News' Meet the Press, in June 2000.[30] They have three children.[31] Her husband practices Judaism while she is a Methodist.[32] Wilkinson was previously married to Timothy Ogilvie, a Washington, DC consultant. The couple had no children and later divorced. She is a close personal friend of former Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.


  1. ^ Hubbell, Martindale (2001). Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (Volume 4). Martindale-Hubbell. p. DC573B. ISBN 9781561604395.
  2. ^ Hubbell, p. DC573B
  3. ^ Randazzo, Sara. "Beth Wilkinson Leaves Paul Weiss to Launch Trial Boutique". WSJ. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  4. ^ "McVeigh Case Lawyers Argue for Death, Life". Los Angeles Times. June 13, 1997.
  5. ^ "Beth Wilkinson '84 Profile".
  6. ^ a b New York Times: "WEDDINGS; Beth Wilkinson, David Gregory" June 11, 2000
  7. ^ a b c "About Fannie Mae: Executives > Beth Wilkinson". Archived from the original on 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  8. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley (April 27, 2012). "Who is Beth Wilkinson? A look at the woman the FTC hired to investigate Google" – via
  9. ^ "Princeton Army ROTC - Alumni".
  10. ^ "Constitution Project: Death Penalty Initiative". Archived from the original on 2006-12-09. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  11. ^ Donovan, Karen (June 16, 2006). "The Lure of the In-House Job" – via
  12. ^ "Corporate Counsel". Corporate Counsel.
  13. ^ "Four Fannie Mae Execs Resign"
  14. ^ "Four Fannie Mae Execs Resign"
  15. ^ Paul, Weiss website
  16. ^ Ainsley, Julia; Alexander, Peter (September 21, 2018). "Both sides prep for potential Kavanaugh/Ford hearing on sex assault allegation". NBC News.
  17. ^ Bade, Rachael (April 1, 2016). "Clinton aides unite on FBI legal strategy". Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  18. ^ Savage, Charlie (2020-06-01). "Judge Asks Court Not to 'Short Circuit' His Review of Flynn Case". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  19. ^ "Oral Argument Summary: In re: Michael Flynn". Lawfare. 2020-06-12. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  20. ^ "Flynn petition for writ of mandamus". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  21. ^ "Court Appoints Retired Judge To Oppose Justice Department In Michael Flynn Case". Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  22. ^ Carol D. Leonnig and Spencer S. Hsu (May 23, 2020). "Federal judge hires high-powered D.C. attorney to defend his actions in Flynn case". Washington Post.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  23. ^ In Re: Flynn, No. 20-5143 (D.C. Circ. June 24,2020).
  24. ^ Appeals court orders Flynn case dismissal, after years-long legal saga; In re Michael T. Flynn, No. 20-5143, June 24, 2020
  25. ^ "Full D.C. Circuit Court Rejects Michael Flynn's Emergency Petition for Immediate Dismissal of Criminal Case".
  26. ^ Tucker, Eric (31 August 2020). "Appeals court keeps Flynn case alive, won't order dismissal". Associated Press. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  27. ^ Appeals court deals setback to Flynn’s attempt to end DOJ case, Politico, Josh Gerstein, August 31, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  28. ^ Keim, John. "Who is Beth Wilkinson? Lawyer leading Washington NFL team's investigation has high-profile history". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  29. ^ Keim, John. "NFL takes over investigation into sexual harassment allegations within Washington Football Team". ESPN. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  30. ^ "WEDDINGS; Beth Wilkinson, David Gregory". June 11, 2000 – via
  31. ^ "David Gregory - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC-". December 8, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-08.
  32. ^ The Atlantic: "David Gregory's Public Discussion of His Private Faith - A conversation with the journalist about his search for closeness to God, and the future of American Jewry" by Jeffrey Goldberg September 21, 2015

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