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 testified before Congress on federal election proposals and campaign finance regulation, and he has taught campaign finance law at the University of Virginia School of Law and Oxford University. Trevor 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. 


Periodically, Trevor sends email messages on topical subjects related to democracy protection. To receive these messages, please subscribe here.

Read previous emails From the Desk of Trevor Potter.

Trevor's Notable Appearances, Publications, and Speeches

Notable recent media and film appearances: 

July 4th Oration at the Chautauqua Institution

In 2016, Potter 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.  

Colbert, Potter & Super PACs

Potter 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