David Drumm beefs up legal team to fight bankruptcy appeal

Former banker asks extradition case lawyer to fight to overturn failed US bankruptcy bid

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has beefed up his legal team in a second appeal against his failed US bankruptcy bid, asking the court to admit a lawyer acting in his extradition case.

Mr Drumm's lawyer Tracy Miner, who has been acting for the 49-year-old Dubliner, has asked the US District Court in Massachusetts to admit Edward McNally of New York firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres and Friedman, one of four lawyers fighting his extradition battle.

Mr McNally, one of the America's top defenders in complex financial cases and a veteran adviser to US presidents, is already representing Mr Drumm in his challenge against an extradition request from the Irish Government.

The former banker is wanted back in Ireland to face 33 criminal charges relating to transactions carried out at Anglo while he was chief executive of the bank in the deepening banking crisis of 2008.

Mr McNally, a former speechwriter to President George HW Bush and America’s first general counsel for homeland security and counterterrorism after the 9/11 attacks, argued last month in Mr Drumm’s request for bail pending his extradition hearing on March 1st.

The former banker is appealing the ruling of a second judge last month denying him a discharge from debts €10 million to a higher court, the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

US District Court Judge Leo Sorokin last month upheld a ruling by Massachusetts Bankruptcy Judge Frank Bailey denying Mr Drumm a valuable bankruptcy discharge and financial freedom from his debts.

The judge said the bankruptcy court made “no mistake” in refusing to grant Mr Drumm a discharge, agreeing with Judge Bailey’s view that he knowingly and fraudulently omitted hundreds of thousands of euro in cash transfers to his wife from his bankruptcy filings.

Judge Sorokin said that Judge Bailey's finding was "wholly logical, plausible and supported by the record."

In his extradition case, US government attorneys, arguing last month that Mr Drumm was a flight risk and shouldn’t be released on bail, said the bankruptcy ruling showed that he “cannot be trusted.”

Lawyers for the former Anglo chief have told US Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell, who is still deciding whether to release him on bail, that the bankruptcy ruling is not related to the extradition case and is being contested to the higher court, one level below the US Supreme Court.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent