In a piece published Monday in Marie Claire titled “The Good Husband,” the magazine attempts to portray Doug Emhoff, the husband of Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, as a normal husband and father. Although Marie Claire describes Emhoff as “just a guy” and “just a lawyer with kids trying to make a living,” that description conflicts with other reports on Harris’ husband.
According to a Sept. 8 article from The New York Times, Harris’ husband is not “just a lawyer,” but is in fact a high-powered attorney who “has a long record as a litigator at two of the nation’s top firms, posing potential conflicts that could draw scrutiny.”
Emhoff has been a partner at the international law firm DLA Piper since 2017. He announced in August that he would be taking a leave of absence from the legal giant. Prior to DLA Piper, Emhoff worked at another firm called Venable, The Times reported.
During Emhoff’s career as a lawyer, he represented a number of entities that could prove “problematic” to “liberal sensibilities,” according to The Times.
The Times piece noted that over the 10 years that Emhoff spent at Venable, he “represented the pharmaceutical giant Merck in lawsuits tied to its drug Fosamax.” According to Reuters, Fosamax is an osteoporosis drug that “may increase the risk of fractures in the thigh bone or just below the hip joint, often requiring surgical intervention.”
Emhoff also did work on behalf of “the arms dealer Dolarian Capital in a case related to its sale of AK-47s for use in Afghanistan,” The Times reported. In 2019, Dolarian Capital’s founder faced federal charges for money laundering and brokering illegal arms deals.
Emhoff also represented “a nightclub owner accused of sexual harassment and sexual battery, including spraying an employee’s hair and body ‘with a foreign substance’ that he removed with ‘his mouth, lips and tongue,'” The Times reported.
Questions about Emhoff ‘s legal career
The Times article pointed out that Emhoff “has less of a track record” with DLA Piper given the relatively short time that he was with the firm.
However, the lobbying practices of DLA Piper have raised eyebrows among ethics experts, despite the fact that Emhoff was “not personally registered to lobby,” The Times explained.
DLA Piper’s clients include “countries with checkered human rights records like Afghanistan and Bahrain,” according to The Times.
Harris is scheduled to debate Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday in this year’s only vice presidential debate.
If former Vice President Joe Biden and Harris win the election in November, Emhoff would become the nation’s first Second Gentleman.