Laura Jarrett, an up and coming correspondent at CNN is ready to fill big shoes at NBC News: She will take over coverage of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court previously handled by veteran Pete Williams.
Jarrett is slated to join NBC News in January as a senior legal correspondent, according to a memo from Rich Greenberg, who heads up the investigative unit for NBC News, and to whom Jarrett will report. She is expected to work with teams from both NBC News’ Washington bureau and the investigative division and will appear on NBC’s news mainstays as well as report for MSNBC, NBC News Now, and NBC News Digital.
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Jarrett had been at CNN for six years, most recently as a co-anchor on the network’s early-morning program “Early Start.” She also served as a legal analyst for the Supreme Court’s decision overruling Roe v. Wade, the Congressional investigations into January 6th, the investigations into former President Trump, and the legal battles over Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
Jarrett followed a non-traditional path to the news desk. She got her start as an attorney, graduating from Harvard Law School in 2010, and had been working for a Chicago law firm. But she had long had an interest in journalism and telling stories.
“I didn’t want to be an advocate anymore,” she told Variety in 2020. “When you are a good law firm associate, you drill down on whatever argument your client wants you to make, and you do not let up. I was always questioning. ‘What about this thing over here? This doesn’t make sense. This story doesn’t quite add up.’ Those types of questions are not really welcome by your paid clients. They are not interested in you poking holes in why their defense doesn’t work.”
Jarrett is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and is the daughter of Valerie Jarrett, the longtime Chicago government official who would go on to become one of the longest-serving advisors to President Barack Obama.
She is the latest CNN veteran to land at NBC News at a time when CNN’s corporate parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, is grappling with a mandate to cut costs. Ryan Nobles, a former CNN congressional correspondent, joined NBC News last month. Rebecca Kutler, who parted ways with CNN after the company scuttled the CNN+ streaming outlet that she had worked on, is now overseeing streaming programming for MSNBC. David Gelles, a veteran political producer, joined NBC News recently as the new executive producer of “Meet The Press.”
As a result of Jarrett’s hire, Kelly O’Donnell, an NBC News veteran Washington journalist, will return to focusing more closely on her White House beat duties. O’Donnell had covered both the White House and the Supreme Court in the wake of Pete Williams’ retirement.
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