David Plotinsky, the former acting chief of the US Department of Justice’s Foreign Investment Review Section, represents clients such as venture capital, private equity, and infrastructure firms. In particular, he steers clients through government national security review processes for foreign investment, including by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and Team Telecom. In addition, David focuses on trade, information communications technology and services, and critical and emerging technology. He maintains a security clearance and advises clients on their most sensitive matters.
David has been named to the Foreign Investment Watch Top Advisors 2023 list, which recognizes leading legal, financial, compliance, and communications professionals who provide advice concerning national security review of foreign investments in the United States and overseas.
David’s work for clients brings to bear almost 25 years of federal government service. Most recently, he served as the acting chief, and also as the principal deputy chief, of the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Foreign Investment Review Section, which is housed in the DOJ’s National Security Division. In that role, David led the section's work on cases before CFIUS; cases before the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (CAFPUSTSS, more commonly known as Team Telecom); and compliance and enforcement matters arising from CFIUS and Team Telecom cases. He also led the section's internal and interagency policy work on national security issues relating to foreign investment, trade, information communications technology and services (ICTS), and critical and emerging technology. He worked extensively on White House and interagency matters, including issues before the National Security Council.
David also served as the chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division, which is housed in the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. In that role, he led the division’s work with government partners and with the communications industry to develop and implement measures to promote the security and reliability of the nation’s communications infrastructure. He also led the division’s work on complex policy and rulemaking activities relating to public safety and national security and disaster management, and the division’s information collection and technical analysis.
Prior to that, David served as an associate deputy general counsel in Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) Office of General Counsel. In that role, he served as the head of litigation for the agency. In particular, he led the litigation team’s work on matters relating to ODNI and Intelligence Community (IC)-wide litigation, and to ODNI information and records management. This work included coordinating with the DOJ and other IC agencies on district court and appellate litigation involving ODNI, as well as litigation across the US government that involved significant IC equities; coordinating with the DOJ and other IC agencies to both use and protect sensitive and classified information in civil litigation and criminal prosecutions; coordinating with the Office of Military Commissions and other IC agencies on issues relating to Guantanamo Bay detainees; and providing advice to ODNI officials on information and records management, including compliance with discovery obligations and subpoenas, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Privacy Act.
Prior to that, he served as a senior associate general counsel in ODNI’s Office of General Counsel. In that capacity, he served first as counsel to ODNI’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He provided legal counsel to NCTC senior leadership and staff, with particular focus on intelligence law, oversight and compliance, handling US person information, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, litigation, congressional affairs, and information sharing with state/local/tribal governments and the private sector. In the wake of the unauthorized disclosures of classified information by Edward Snowden, David was reassigned to serve as counsel to ODNI’s National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC). He provided legal counsel to NCSC senior leadership and staff, with particular focus on counterintelligence operations, cyber operations, unauthorized disclosures of classified information and damage assessments of such disclosures, insider threats, security clearance policy, economic espionage, US embassy security, litigation, congressional affairs, private sector outreach, and public affairs.
Before his work at ODNI, David was an attorney advisor in DOJ’s Office of Intelligence, which is housed in the DOJ’s National Security Division. In that role, he obtained authorization from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for intelligence collection under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and both led and participated in oversight reviews of intelligence activities conducted under FISA.
Prior to his executive branch service, David served as an assistant counsel in the US House of Representatives, Office of General Counsel. In that role, he litigated on behalf of the House and its members, staff, committees, and subcommittees, with particular focus on criminal law, constitutional law, and complex separation of powers issues. David also represented the House and its members, staff, committees, and subcommittees in responding to subpoenas and other requests for information in civil, criminal, and other matters. He also provided counsel to House committees and subcommittees about matters related to their legislative, investigative, and oversight activities.
Georgetown University Law Center, 2001, J.D.
University of Maryland, 1997, B.A., Government and Politics, Honors Program
District of Columbia
Awards and Affiliations
Top Advisor, Foreign Investment Watch (2023)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense, The Legal 500 US (2023)
Recommended, International Trade: Customs, Export Controls and Economic Sanctions, The Legal 500 US (2023)
Recommended, Media, technology and telecoms: Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory , The Legal 500 US (2023)