I am a lawyer, not a lobbyist. Goldman Sachs has hired me as a lawyer — to provide legal advice and to assist in its legal representation — and that is what I am doing.
– Greg Craig, former White House Counsel and now a partner at Skadden, explaining why he is not bound by the president’s ethics policy barring former White House officials from lobbying for two years after leaving office.
In November, Gregory Craig announced that he was leaving the White House for private practice. President Obama’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, was named as the new White House counsel.
In his resignation letter, Craig said that he would return to private practice “as of January 3, 2010.” At the time, we speculated that he might return to Williams & Connolly, the firm that had employed him since law school graduation. But today, W&C made it known to its associates that Craig would not be returning as a partner there.
Instead, he’ll be going to Skadden Arps. From an email sent out by Williams & Connolly senior partner Brendan Sullivan:
Greg Craig will not return to W&C as a litigator. Instead he has been invited to join Skadden to head a group which will focus on advising clients in need of public policy analysis.
Full email after the jump. Update: Also after the jump, WSJ Law Blog sheds light on why Craig chose Skadden.
The rumors circulated back in August, but now it looks like it’s finally happening. From Marc Ambinder, shortly before 11 on Thursday night:
Sources in government say that White House Counsel Gregory Craig has decided to resign, and that the president’s personal lawyer, Robert Bauer, will take his place. A formal announcement is slated next week, though word might drop tomorrow.
Looks like that announcement is getting sped up. More after the jump. UPDATE: Greg Craig’s resignation letter, also after the jump.
Last night, the Wall Street Journal (subscription) sent out a news alert claiming that President Obama’s White House counsel, Gregory Craig, is getting kicked to the curb:
Obama administration officials are holding discussions that could result in White House counsel Gregory Craig leaving his post, following a rocky tenure, people familiar with the matter said.
The WSJ implies that Craig — a former Williams & Connolly partner, perhaps best known for extracting President Clinton from the impeachment mess — has botched advising the President on several national-security issues, including the Guantanamo prison closure, the release of national-security documents from the Bush era, and detainee holdings.
But the White House says ‘whoa, whoa, settle down now.’
Now it’s time for a post about one of our favorite subjects: the magnificent Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. First, check out what’s currently gracing the front page of the Drudge Report: The audio clip is pretty awesome. To listen, click here.
Second, we’d like to take this opportunity to chastise any and all lawyers who enjoyed top government posts during the Clinton Administration, but now refuse to support Senator Clinton in her bid for the White House.
Here are two prominent examples. With apologies to Stephen Colbert, who isn’t exactly a Hillary supporter, a “Wag of the Finger” to:
Craig is doing this despite his close personal ties to the Clintons; the fact that he held multiple posts in the Clinton Administration, at the White House and State Department; and the alma mater he shares with the Clintons (Yale Law School — rival to Obama’s Harvard Law).
2. Jeh Charles Johnson. Paul Weiss partner Jeh Johnson, a successful New York litigator and prominent political fundraiser, served as general counsel to the Air Force under President Clinton. Yet he too has also turned his back on Senator Clinton, his home state legislator, to raise funds for Barack Obama.
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