Donald Trump’s White House counsel pick narrows Pam Bondi’s options

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Gathered with family at his Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach estate for the holiday weekend, President-elect Donald Trump named his White House counsel and in doing so, ended the hope of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi serving in that position.

Trump tapped campaign attorney Donald McGahn as his official White House lawyer. In a statement, Trump said McGahn “has a brilliant legal mind, excellent character and a deep understanding of constitutional law.”

Having faced criticism about the inexperience of his initial picks, Trump finds in McGahn a veteran Republican election lawyer.

Although Bondi had been mentioned as a possible Attorney General pick and remains the leading candidate for Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or Drug Czar, the former Hillsborough County state prosecutor was said to have had her eye on serving as Trump’s chief legal counsel.

“She’s a lawyer and she’s loyal,” said one source close to both Bondi and the president-elect when asked after Jeff Sessions was named Attorney General in which position Bondi might serve.

The possibility of Bondi serving under Sessions as a deputy attorney general is a non-starter for her, sources close to Bondi say.

This leaves Drug Czar as the only and natural place for Bondi to land, although it’s not necessarily a lock that Bondi will trade Tallahassee for Washington, D.C. Still, Bondi’s vigorous crackdown on Florida’s pill mill industry and her hot war efforts against the use of synthetic drugs, along with her early support of Trump’s candidacy and her own political skills, likely means the position is hers if she wants it.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this post.



Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.