About Anthony

As a trusted adviser to Treasury secretaries, CEOs, and other leaders, Anthony has shaped public opinion and communications on some of our nation’s most pressing debates and challenges. Most recently, Anthony led public affairs at the U.S. Justice Department and served as Attorney General Merrick Garland’s chief spokesman.

Currently, he leads a boutique consulting firm, Corner Office Strategies. He is also an on-air contributor at NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC providing independent analysis of the leading political, legal, and economic issues of the day.

Learn More

TV Appearances

Notable & Quotable

Politico: Cheshire cat Brandon

Lauren Egan, Eli Stokols and Ben Johansen - 05/31/24

“While this is not a moment for Democrats to gloat, Donald Trump is now a convicted felon, and folks should call him that at every turn. The president should lean into this moment by focusing on his efforts to improve the lives and future of everyday Americans,” ANTHONY COLEY, a former Department of Justice spokesperson, told West Wing Playbook.

“‘Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow,’ Bill Clinton once advised. That’s a powerful contrast when his opponent is surrounded by chaos and focused on his own campaign of vengeance and retribution.”

Read More at Politico.com >>
Politico: Biden has no plan to touch the Alito controversy, even with a 10-foot pole

Adam Cancryn - 05/24/24

“The central pushback should come from the legislative branch, and not the executive branch,” said Anthony Coley, a former senior official in the Biden Justice Department, arguing that Congress has wide-ranging investigatory
authority. “That’s the right place where we should be seeing aggressive oversight, and right now they are not meeting the moment.”

Read More at Politico.com >>
WAPO: On the week Trump’s Fla. trial was scheduled to start, uncertainty and a pretrial hearing

David Ovalle and Perry Stein - 5/22/24

“We are all in a wait-and-see game,” said Anthony Coley, former top spokesman at the Justice Department under Attorney General Merrick Garland. “It’s still quite possible the D.C. case starts. We’re all waiting on the Supreme Court to decide.” Coley and other legal analysts have accused Cannon of unnecessarily slowing down the Florida case.

Read More at WashingtonPost.com >>
TheGrio: Did Biden’s Morehouse graduation speech break tension with Black voters?

Gerren Keith Gaynor - 5/20/24

Biden shared his rise to politics and his personal journey with grief, being inspired by King to become a public defender and eventually being elected to the Senate before losing his wife and young daughter in a deadly car crash in 1972.

“Authenticity always resonates with voters and with everyday people,” said Anthony Coley, a legal and political analyst and former Biden-Harris administration official. “My hope is that the deeper we get into the campaign season, the people around him will create opportunities for that real person – the Joe they know – to break through in real ways.”

Read More at TheGrio.com >>
Newsweek: Joe Biden's Morehouse College Appearance Splits Opinion

Khaleda Rahman - 5/20/24

The president received a standing ovation from college administrators and alumni in the audience when he was introduced, but most of the graduating class remained seated. At least seven graduates and one faculty member sat
with their backs turned during Biden’s address, while another draped himself in a Palestinian flag, the Associated Press reported.

Anthony Coley, an alumnus of Morehouse who led the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs from 2021 to 2023, wrote on X, that Biden “met the moment” with “authentic remarks.””He kept the focus on the grads, while weaving in his personal narrative and how his Administration is improving
people’s lives,” he added.

Coley said that on Gaza, Biden “spelled out his vision clearly—one that aligns with what young people want, even if they haven’t necessarily heard it directly from him before.”

Read More at Newsweek.com >>
TNR: Trump Risks New Gag Order Violation With Fresh “Sleazeballs” Tirade

Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling - 5/8/24

“Trump & his allies will always find something, anything to delay their day in Court,” wrote former Justice Department official Anthony Coley. “Bottom line: This November, the people will decide if Trump will ever face accountability for trying to overturn the will of voters.”

Read More at NewRepublic.com >>
Salon: "The fight is fixed": Legal expert calls out Judge Cannon as "MAGA activist in a black robe"

Charles R. Davis - 5/13/24

“When people say the fight is fixed, this is the type of stuff they are talking about,” former Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley said on MSNBC. “You have a woman here who intentionally appears to be dragging her feet,” he observed, arguing Cannon is less an objective judge and more someone who appears to be “a MAGA activist in a black robe.”

Read More at Salon.com >>
NYT: Judge in Trump Criminal Case Braces for Glare of Unprecedented Trial

Ben Protess, Jesse McKinley, Kate Christobek and William K. Rashbaum - 4/8/24

“In the court of law, Judge Merchan was well within his rights and ethical guidelines to have made these small donations four years ago,” said Anthony Coley, a former head of public affairs at the Justice Department under Mr. Biden who is now an NBC News legal analyst. “But in the court of public opinion, appearances still matter.”

Read More at NYTimes.com >>
WAPO: White House-Justice Dept. tensions high as Hur prepares to testify on Hill

Perry Stein and Tyler Pager - 3/11/24

For years, Democrats have railed against Trump for attempting to intervene and politicize federal law enforcement decisions, arguing that he has undermined the impartial system of justice in the country by attacking judges and prosecutors. They do not want to be accused of similar conduct.

Anthony Coley, a former Garland spokesman, argued that Democrats should focus their ire on Hur and will only hurt their own political future by complaining about a Biden appointee like Garland. “It is undermining the president’s reelection,” said Coley, who has criticized the references to Biden’s memory in the special counsel report. “The criticism should start with Robert Hur.”

Read More at WashingtonPost.com >>
TheGrio: Fani Willis ‘did what she needed to do’ during defiant testimony in misconduct hearing

Gerren Keith Gaynor - 2/16/24

“The issue before the court is one of self-dealing; did she hire her boyfriend to work on this case and then benefit financially from that arrangement?” explained Anthony Coley, a legal analyst. “What she did was disassemble that argument brick by brick.”

Coley, who previously served as public affairs director at the U.S. Department of Justice, said Willis “did not come to play” and came off as credible during her testimony.

“When you look at the totality of evidence that was presented in her striking testimony, it’s pretty clear that her prosecution of this case has nothing at all to do with her personal relationship with Mr. Wade,” he argued.

Read more at TheGrio.com >>
WAPO: How Justice Dept. special counsel policies let Hur critique Biden’s memory

Perry Stein - 2/10/24

As a special counsel, Hur’s “legal outcome is indeed fair and appropriate,” said Anthony Coley, a former Justice Department employee who was the agency’s top spokesman when Garland appointed Hur last January. “But the editorializing — the excessive, unnecessary commentary about an uncharged individual — does not reflect DOJ’s best traditions.”

Read More at WashingtonPost.com >>
NYT: Release of Hur Report Underlines Perils of the Special Counsel’s Job

Glenn Thrush - 2/9/24

Anthony Coley, Mr. Garland’s spokesman when Mr. Hur was appointed, said the focus on Mr. Biden’s memory crossed a line.

“He was supposed to be an umpire calling balls and strikes,” said Mr. Coley, who interacted with Mr. Hur at the department. “But the editorializing — the excessive, unnecessary commentary about an uncharged individual — felt like political potshots.”

Read More at NYTimes.com >>
Axios: Biden's Team Bracing for Special Counsel's Report on Classified Docs

Alex Thompson - 2/4/24

Anthony Coley, a former senior adviser to Garland, caught the Biden team’s attention recently when he wrote that Biden and those in his orbit had no one to blame but themselves for Garland’s appointment of a special counsel.

Coley said Biden’s team wasn’t initially transparent about the documents and put Garland in a no-win situation.

“Against the backdrop of former President Trump’s indictment on charges of willful and deliberate retention of classified documents, the Biden team’s drip, drip, drip of information made the discoveries seem even worse,” Coley wrote.

Read more at Axios.com >>
TheGrio: Trump Legal Battle Escalates as Willis Decries ‘race card’ Amid Claims of ‘improper’ Relationship

Gerren Keith Gaynor - 1/16/24

“What we know for sure is that these allegations are a distraction from the real issue: Her case against Trump and his co-codefendants, which remains rock solid,” says Anthony Coley, a legal analyst.

Read more at TheGrio.com >>
The Messenger: NYPD ‘Wellness Check’ Before Feds Raided Mayor Eric Adams’ Fundraiser Called Into Question

Ben Feuerherd - 11/5/23

Former Justice Department officials have challenged the New York City Police Department’s claim that the FBI sought a “wellness check” at the home of Mayor Eric Adams’ chief fundraiser hours before a federal raid there….
Anthony Coley, the former chief spokesman for the Department of Justice, also said, in a post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, that he had never come across the circumstances during his employment there.

“Never heard of this in my two years running public affairs at DOJ,” Coley wrote in the post.

“There’s more to this…” he added.

Read More at TheMessenger.com >>
Financial Times: The relaunch of Kamala Harris

James Politi - 10/26/2023

“At first, she was trying to​ find her stride while under intense public scrutiny, which I think was heightened because of gender and race,” says Anthony Coley, a former senior Justice department official under Biden. “Now, she’s clearly settled into the role and looks quite comfortable in it.”

Read More at FT.com >>
The Messenger: As Challenges Mount, Trump’s Legal Moves Take Aggressive Turn

Darren Samuelsohn, Marc Caputo, and Steve Reilly - 10/5/2023

“Who knows what Donald Trump is thinking, but he’s in significant legal jeopardy and I suspect he’s come to realize that,” added Anthony Coley, a former Biden-era Justice Department spokesman. “Trump is facing a new season of accountability and his best efforts to distract the country, play the victim, and politicize the moment cannot change that.”

The gag order Trump got hit with in New York shouldn’t be a surprise, Coley added. “There’s a certain level of criticism that people in the public eye, even judges, will tolerate,” he said. “But you can not go after an official’s staff with lies and innuendo – that is a red line that should not be crossed.”

As for Trump’s presence in New York, Coley noted the former president was already found liable for fraud and has seen his New York business licenses revoked. “So what we saw this week was Trump trying to rally his base and get some political benefit from these legal issues,” he said.

Read More at TheMessenger.com >>
Deadline: Opening Day Of Donald Trump Civil Fraud Trial Gives Glimpse Of How Networks May Cover Camera-Less Criminal Proceedings

Ted Johnson - 10/2/2023

Yet when it comes to Trump’s first criminal proceeding, in the election conspiracy case set to start on March 4, camera access might be even more restricted than it was in the New York fraud case. Some House and Senate lawmakers, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), are urging the federal Judicial Conference to allow cameras, while a former Justice Department spokesman, Anthony Coley, argued on Politico that as things stand, “many will hear about [the trial] secondhand through siloed media ecosystems and from sources whose fidelity to the facts are tenuous at best.” The conference met in September and loosened some restrictions on civil and bankruptcy cases but not criminal proceedings.

Read More at Deadline.com >>
NYT: Menendez Indictment Appears to Undercut Claims of ‘Two-Tiered System’ of Justice

Glenn Thrush - 9/22/2023

“This case really should silence any critic who wrongly suggests that D.O.J. is politicized under Garland,” said Anthony D. Coley, a former spokesman for the department. “This D.O.J. follows the facts — and isn’t influenced by partisan politics, political affiliation or wealth — not anything but facts and law.”

Read More at NYTimes.com >>
Bloomberg Law: New Senior DOJ Vacancies Force Quick Biden Decisions in Senate

Ben Penn - 9/21/2023

Anthony Coley, who was the public affairs director under Garland until earlier this year, said he sees the impediments of having multiple new acting chiefs. But he pointed to the respect accorded to Civil Division longterm interim leader Brian Boynton as a reason he’s not overly concerned.

“It certainly does serve some level of benefit,” Coley said of the desire to find Senate-approved picks, but 2.5 years into an administration, there’s already a “rhythm.”

“In some cases,” Coley added, “it might make sense to just keep the acting leadership in place.”

Read More at BloombergLaw.com >>
WSJ: Ties Between Joe Biden and Merrick Garland Deteriorate From Distant to Frigid

Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie Gutman - 9/16/2023

“He’s doing what the president asked him to do, and that is restore justice to DOJ, and follow the facts and follow the law and keep the politics out of decision-making,” said Anthony Coley, Garland’s former spokesman, who said Garland has never been a frequent presence at the White House.

Read More at WSJ.com >>
NYT: For President Biden, a Political Liability That May Not Go Away Soon

Peter Baker - 8/11/2023

“Friday’s announcement feels more like a technicality allowing Weiss to bring charges outside of Delaware now that the talks between sides have broken down,” said Anthony Coley, who until recently served as the Justice Department’s director of public affairs under Mr. Garland. “It will have limited practical impact.”

Read More at NYTimes.com >>
AP: Attorney General Garland keeps poker face as firestorm erupts after Trump charges

Lindsay Whitehurst - 6/18/2023

Smith’s appointment as special counsel after Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign was another effort to uphold Justice Department norms and the principle that the agency follows the facts and the law, not politics, said Anthony Coley, who previously served as Garland’s chief spokesman at the department.

“For the attorney general, the rule of law is not just some lawyer’s turn of phrase. For him, the rule of law is foundational element of our democracy,” he said.

Read More at APNews.com >>
Politico Playbook: The United States v. Donald Trump

Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza and Rachael Bade - 06/09/2023

Anthony Coley, the former head of public affairs at the DOJ, told Playbook last night that he hoped his “former colleagues at the Justice Department have or will soon petition the court to unseal the charges. Not unsealing the charges before Tuesday will give Trump the space to fill the gap with misinformation. It is absolutely imperative for the DOJ to get the records unsealed within the next 24 hours.”

See also: NYT and Deadline

Read More at Politico.com >>
The Messenger: Donald Trump Has Company When It Comes to Former Leaders Facing Charges

Nikhil Kumar - 06/09/23

“It’s unprecedented for us,” said Anthony Coley, former spokesperson at the Department of Justice, “but it’s not unprecedented that leaders are being held to account after they leave office having been accused of wrongdoing.”

Read More at TheMessenger.com >>
WAPO: Trump lawyers seek meeting with AG Garland over special counsel actions

Devlin Barrett - 5/23/2023

Anthony Coley, a former spokesman for the attorney general, said the proposed meeting was unlikely. Justice Department regulations, Coley tweeted, “are explicitly clear on tthe process here. Jack Smith is running this investigation, not Garland.”

Smith, Coley noted, “is not subject to the day to day oversight of any person” at the Justice Department, including Garland.

See also: CBSCNNNewsNationNYTEsquireSalonVanity Fair

Read More at WashingtonPost.com >>
Politico Playbook: Durham Calls Bull

Eugene Daniel, Rachael Bade, and Ryan Lizza - 5/16/2023

Garland’s handling of the Durham report provides something of a precedent for how he may handle the forthcoming investigation by special counsel JACK SMITH.

Anthony Coley, DOJ’s former head of public affairs, put it to us this way: “Unless Jack does something that is inconsistent with the norms and practices of the Dept — highly unlikely given Jack’s reputation — AG Garland will respect Jack’s decision, whatever it is, and allow it to stand.”

Read More at Politico.com >>
WAPO: How Garland’s release of Trump-Russia probe report differed from Barr’s

Devlin Barrett and Perry Stein - 5/16/2023

Anthony Coley, a former Justice Department spokesman for Garland, said the attorney general “played it by the book — minimum redactions, quick release of the total report — and left the public to draw its own conclusion. That’s how it should be done.”

Garland faced a challenge of “landing Barr’s plane — this politically motivated investigation that was meant to appease a sitting president — and to do so in a way that didn’t further politicize the department,” Coley said.

Read More at WashingtonPost.com >>
Axios: Inside Hunter Biden's clash with the White House

Alex Thompson - 5/5/23

“For this fund to work, it must be extraordinarily transparent and even restrictive by prohibiting foreign citizens and registered lobbyists from contributing,” Anthony Coley, the former top spokesman for the Justice Department who was senior adviser to Attorney General Merrick Garland, told Axios. “Without these type of guardrails, the fund will be a legitimate headache for the White House.”

Read More at Axios.com >>
HUFFPOST: Former Biden Chief Of Staff Says DOJ Needs To Be 'Aggressive' On Voting Rights, Abortion

Kevin Robillard - 5/1/23

Anthony Coley, a former top spokesperson for Garland, fired back at Klain on Twitter, calling his comments “a cheap shot inconsistent w/the facts” and noting that the Justice Department successfully sued Idaho to block part of the state’s near-total ban on abortion.

Read More at HuffPost.com >>
AP: DEA chief faces probe into ‘swampy’ hires, no-bid contracts

Joshua Goodman and Jim Mustian - 4/20/23

Anthony Coley, a former Justice Department spokesman who has known Milgram for 15 years, said the investigation may stem from employees who aren’t happy with such organizational change and are seeking ways to “push back or undermine it, even if the underlying allegations aren’t true.”

“But that’s what inspectors general are for,” he said, “to call balls and strikes.”

Read More at APNews.com >>
Podcast: Many Americans Support The Trump Indictment, AND Believe It Is Political

Michael Smerconish - The Smerconish Podcast - 4/3/2023

Michael offers thoughts on new polling that has come out in the wake of the indictment of former President Donald Trump, and gets smart analysis from Anthony Coley, Former Director of the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice and Former Senior Advisor to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Listen to the podcast on Simplecast >>
Politico: Manhattan Trump Grand Jury Set to Break for a Month

Erica Orden, 3/29/2023

Aside from any legal ramifications, the delay could influence public opinion. “Trump’s actions and rhetoric over the last 10 days are his standard playbook — move first to shape the narrative and public perception,” said Anthony Coley, a former spokesman for the Justice Department. “It’s a particularly useful tactic in legal communications because prosecutors are bound by grand jury secrecy rules.”

Read more at Politico.com >>
NYT: Trump Inquiries Present a Stress Test for Justice in a Polarized Nation

Glenn Thrush, 3/23/2023

“Everything gets merged together, so people sometimes lose the nuance that these are separate investigations conducted by different entities,” said Anthony D. Coley, who served as Mr. Garland’s spokesman until earlier this year.”

Mr. Coley said those concerns were not likely to influence Mr. Smith, who has sought to portray himself inside the department as unswayed by external factors. Mr. Garland has said much the same in his terse public discussions of the probe.

Read more at NYTimes.com >>
TheGrio: All Eyes on Black Prosecutors Probing Trump (and their Safety) Amid Looming Indictment

Gerren Keith Gaynor, 3/21/2023

“There is a deep and abiding sense in Black America that there are two systems of justice: one for the rich and the powerful, and another one for everyone else. That’s why I think so many African Americans are following these Trump cases so closely — [because] accountability finally appears to be at hand.”

Coley said that while Trump uses “race, racist language and racist overtones to divide people,” the focus for Bragg and the other prosecutors probing the former president should be about the rule of law.

Read more at theGrio.com >>
MSNBC: Could a Trump Indictment Help Him Politically?

Jen Psaki, 3/18/2023

Until January, Anthony Coley was one of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s closest advisers. If anyone knows what makes Garland tick and how he considers decisions, it is Coley.

He has started to slowly emerge back on air, including in a recent interview with MSNBC host Ari Melber.

So as we parse every eyebrow raise or hand gesture by the attorney general, I’ll be paying close attention to what Anthony says … and you probably should too.

Read more at MSNBC.com >>
Podcast: Exclusive Interview with AG Merrick Garland's Former Senior Advisor

Jeff Pegues - America: Changed Forever - 3/3/2023

On this week’s episode of “America: Changed Forever”, host Jeff Pegues sits down for an exclusive interview with Anthony Coley, former Senior Advisor to the Attorney General, about the Attorney General Merrick Garland’s recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify >>

Written Commentary

More About Anthony

As a trusted adviser to Treasury secretaries, CEOs, and other prominent leaders, Anthony has shaped public opinion and communications on some of our nation’s most significant debates and challenges.

During the first two years of the Biden Administration, he led public affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice and served as Attorney General Merrick Garland’s chief spokesman. He also oversaw national media relations for the Justice Department’s litigating divisions, law enforcement components, and U.S. Attorney offices, among others. At the end of Anthony’s tenure, Attorney General Garland presented him with the Edmund J. Randolph Award – the Justice Department’s highest honor.

Prior, he served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Public Affairs. There he worked in close collaboration with President Barack Obama’s economic team to create and implement public affairs strategies on issues related to capital markets, banks, and non-bank financial institutions, and the 2011 debt limit crisis. Anthony traveled extensively at the Treasury Department, advising senior officials and briefing journalists on more than 30 trips in the U.S. and around the world. At the end of his service, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew presented him with Treasury’s Distinguished Service Award and medal.

Previously, Anthony spent five years as Executive Vice President, Communications, at Managed Funds Association (MFA), the global trade association for the alternative investment industry. He also served as Senior Advisor to MFA’s President and CEO, former Republican Congressman Richard H. Baker. Prior, he advised Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, and other clients as a Director at Brunswick Group.

Earlier in his career, Anthony concurrently served as Communications Director and chief spokesman for U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy and the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He was also a top communications aide to U.S. Representative Harold Ford, Jr., U.S. Senator Zell Miller and U.S. Senator Jon S. Corzine. In the New Jersey Statehouse, Anthony was press secretary to the Governor and later Director of Public Communications for the State. He has also worked on the communications staff of two presidential campaigns: Gore-Lieberman 2000 and Kerry-Edwards 2004.

Currently, Anthony is an on-air contributor at NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC providing independent analysis of the leading political, legal, and economic issues of the day. Through his boutique public affairs firm, Corner Office Strategies, he provides senior-level counsel to decision makers and organizations facing high-profile moments or critical public affairs challenges.

Anthony received a B.A. in Business Administration from Morehouse College and a M.A. in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University.

For speaker-related inquiries, email speakers@caa.com.

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