Trevor Potter


Trevor Potter leads CLC in its efforts to advance democracy through law.

Portrait of Trevor Potter

A Republican former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Trevor was general counsel to John McCain’s 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns and an adviser to the drafters of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. To many, he is perhaps best known for his recurring appearances on The Colbert Report as the lawyer for Stephen Colbert’s super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, during the 2012 election, a program that won a Peabody Award for excellence in reporting on money in politics. 

The American Bar Association Journal has described Trevor as “hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law and money.” Trevor is the author of several books and manuals on lobbying regulation and disclosure, campaign finance and federal election law. He has provided testimony and written statements to Congress on federal election proposals, campaign finance regulation and, recently, the effects of the January 6th attack on our democracy. He has also taught campaign finance law at the University of Virginia School of Law and Oxford University, and he has appeared widely in national broadcast and print media. During the 2020 election season, Trevor was named to the cross-partisan National Task Force on Election Crises. 

Trevor is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.) and Harvard University (A.B.). He is a member of the DC Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. Trevor founded CLC in 2002. 


Trevor's Newsletter

  • Readers of Trevor Potter's newsletter, From the Desk of Trevor Potter, will gain an in-depth understanding of the dynamic struggle to protect and strengthen our democracy. Receive Trevor's newsletter and other important updates from CLC directly to your inbox. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE
  • To read previous editions of Trevor's newsletter CLICK HERE.


Trevor's Notable Appearances, Publications, and Speeches

Notable media and film appearances: 

Chautauqua Institution

In 2022, Trevor delivered a lecture, entitled, The Crisis Facing American Democracy, at the Chautauqua Institution for its summer Lecture Series.

Click here for a transcript of the speech.

Click here to watch a recording of the speech.

In 2016, Trevor delivered the July 4th oration at the Chautauqua Institution. His talk was entitled, A Republic, If You Can Keep It (a reference to Benjamin Franklin's famous statement about the form of government the Constitutional Convention had created.)

Click here for a transcript of the speech.  

Click here to watch a recording of the speech.

Colbert, Potter & Super PACs

Trevor played an important role in the 2012 election cycle: that of "personal lawyer" to comedian Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.

A look back on notable Colbert Report appearances

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