Former Trump admin attorney joins video platform Rumble as legal chief

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REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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  • Michael Ellis held several positions in the Trump administration
  • Peter Thiel-backed Rumble recently said it went public by merging with a blank check company

(Reuters) - Former Trump administration lawyer Michael Ellis has landed the top legal role at Rumble Inc., a Canadian video platform that has counted the former president as a member.

Ellis joined Rumble in November as its first-ever general counsel and corporate secretary, a company spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Rumble was launched in 2013 by tech entrepreneur Chris Pavlovski as an alternative YouTube-style site, and has become popular with U.S. conservatives. The company said last week it went public through a merger with a blank-check firm, a deal initially valued at $2.1 billion.

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It's attracted investment from venture capitalist Peter Thiel and attorney and author turned U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance's venture firm, Narya Capital.

Former President Donald Trump joined the video platform in June after being banned from some social media sites following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Ellis worked in the Trump White House in several positions, including as senior director of intelligence programs for the National Security Council, according to Rumble.

Ellis was named general counsel to the National Security Agency in the waning days of the Trump administration, according to news reports at the time. The reports said he resigned in April 2021 after being placed on administrative leave when Trump left office.

He previously served as general counsel to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence under Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif).

Nunes is leaving Congress next month to become chief executive for the former president’s media operation, Trump Media & Technology Group Corp.

Read more:

Video platform Rumble to go public via $2.1 bln SPAC deal

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Xiumei Dong covers legal industry news, with a focus on law firm strategy and growth, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., legal market. Reach her at Xiumei.Dong@thomsonreuters.com.