RNC's chief counsel set to depart role after 2 months on job

 May 6, 2024

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has undergone a series of shakeups in recent months, and officials have just confirmed yet another significant change at the organization.

As The Hill reports, Charlie Spies, recently appointed as the RNC's chief counsel, is set to depart the role just two months after beginning his tenure in the position.

Spies to depart RNC

A statement provided to the outlet by RNC spokesperson Danielle Alvarez declared, “Charlie approached RNC Chief of Staff, Chris LaCivita, about potential time commitment conflicts and it was agreed that, while we appreciate and value Charlies expertise and professionalism, he cannot do this role full time and still maintain the obligations to his law firm that he has spent years successfully building.”

Spies enjoys a reputation as a high-powered Washington-based lawyer with the firm of Dickinson Wright, having represented an impressive list of corporate and trade association clients, non-profit groups, presidential candidates, congressional lawmakers, the House speaker, and numerous Republican organizations.

The departure comes after Spies' hiring by the RNC back in March, a move which came at a time of significant transformation at the top ranks of the organization.

This year has already seen the resignation of former chair Ronna McDaniel, a decision seen as necessary to make way for the ascension of a new chair and vice chair, both selected for their alignment with presumptive GOP nominee and former President Donald Trump.

Conflicting explanations emerge

Though the RNC endeavored to suggest that Spies' exit was due primarily to time constraints related to his existing legal practice, NBC News cited a source close to the situation who said that the highly regarded attorney was “pushed out.”

The outlet suggested that Spies was insufficiently in sync with the Trump-supporting leadership of the RNC, having previously expressed criticism and doubts about the former president's claims of widespread fraud during the 2020 election.

In 2021, Spies notably took issue with claims regarding problems with electronic voting machines and suggestions that votes had been switched from one candidate to another, telling a Conservative Political Action Conference panel, “I may get booed off the stage for this, but I have to say that's simply not true. There is just zero evidence that's true.”

Alex Floyd, rapid response director for the Democratic National Committee had his own take on what occurred, suggesting that Trump's influence on the trajectory at the RNC has prompted the institution of “an election denier litmus test for new hires” and opined that Spies was booted for “disagreeing with Trump's dangerous conspiracy theories.”

Election integrity priorities remain

Floyd's incendiary take on the reason for Spies' ouster seems, however, to conflict somewhat with the lawyer's own declared commitment to helping the RNC with a planned push to safeguard election integrity ahead of the November contest, something The Hill described separately last month.

Outlining efforts related to early voting, Election Day voting, mail-in ballot processing, post-election auditing, recounts, and the like, the RNC declared its readiness to ensure the integrity of the presidential race.

Spies himself said in April, “President Trump has said that the Republican victory in November needs to be too big to rig. The political team will be working to ensure a huge victory for Republicans at all levels, and RNC legal is committed to making sure that victory can't be rigged.”

Given Spies' seeming alignment with Trump's goals of eradicating the sort of anomalies and suspected flaws that cast a shadow over the 2020 election, the true reason behind his very brief tenure at the RNC may, in fact, be far less sinister than Democrats like Floyd would have the public believe.

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