Former Commissioner, 9/11 Commission
Partner, Mayer Brown, LLP
Richard Ben-Veniste has practiced law, specializing in complex civil litigation and white collar criminal cases in Washington, D.C. and New York City since 1968. He also advises organizations and individuals involved in congressional investigations across a broad range of areas. Mr. Ben-Veniste first achieved national prominence during the mid-1970s, when he served as one of the lead prosecutors on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, prosecuting the principal Watergate cover-up case against Richard Nixon’s top aides, H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and John Mitchell, among others. Recognized as both a knowledgeable and experienced counsellor and as a skilled and accomplished trial lawyer, he has been a key figure in some of the nation’s most significant governmental activities at the intersection of law and politics. From 1995 to 1996, for example, he acted as Chief Counsel (Minority) of the Senate Whitewater Committee and from 1976 to 1977 he was Special Outside Counsel for the Senate Subcommittee on Governmental Operations.Mr. Ben-Veniste was a presidential appointee to the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, which was mandated to declassify secret documents relating to World War II era war crimes. From 1998 to 2007, the IWG supervised the declassification of more than 8 million pages of previously classified documents.
From 2003 to 2004, Mr. Ben-Veniste served as one of ten commissioners on the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States (9/11 Commission). In 2009, he servedon a task force created by the Secretary of the Department of HomelandSecurity to assess the national alert system and make recommendations for improvement, and in 2011 was appointed to the Aspen Homeland Security Group, which advises the Secretary on issues involving the homeland security enterprise.