William Kelley

Fred Fielding Fred F Fielding White House Counsel Wiley Rein & Fielding Above the Law.jpgWe previously wrote about President Bush’s selection of Fred Fielding as his new White House counsel. Our coverage was based on a pre-announcement scoop by Time, not an actual announcement from the White House.
Just to close the loop on this, the rumor was correct: Fielding’s selection is now official. Here’s the (predictably bland) White House press release.
From the New York Times:

Mr. Fielding’s agreement to take the job surprised some of his closest friends. The friends said last week, when his name surfaced as a contender for the position, that they would be surprised if he would give up a successful corporate practice for another stint of what promises to be heavy partisan battle at age 67.

Mr. Fielding was deputy counsel to President Richard M. Nixon under John W. Dean III and was White House counsel for the first five years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

Further discussion, plus speculation about the next Deputy White House Counsel, after the jump.

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Harriet Miers Harriet E Miers Harriet Ellan Miers Harriet Elan Miers Above the Law.JPGPresident Bush famously described Harriet E. Miers, the outgoing White House counsel, as “a pit bull in size six shoes.” Woof woof!
But some White House insiders viewed Harriet Miers as insufficiently canine. Per the Washington Post:

Miers, a longtime Bush loyalist whose nomination to the Supreme Court was withdrawn in 2005 as a result of conservative opposition, led an office that will oversee legal clashes that could erupt if Democrats aggressively use their new subpoena power. Bush advisers inside and outside the White House concluded that she is not equipped for such a battle….

The White House did not announce a replacement but has settled on someone to take on the assignment, according to several advisers who did not disclose the name.

If you have thoughts about who this person might be, we’d love to hear from you.
Further discussion and speculation, after the jump.

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Harriet Miers Harriet E Miers Harriet Ellan Miers Harriet Elan Miers Above the Law.JPGAs previously reported, Harriet Miers — she of the ill-fated Supreme Court nomination* — has submitted her resignation as White House Counsel. It will take effect at the end of this month, on January 31. The search for her replacement has begun.
From White House spokesman Tony Snow:

“Basically, she has been here six years. As somebody said earlier today, ‘She put 12 years of service into six years.’ Harriet is one of the most beloved people here at the White House.”

Indeed, the work ethic of the 61-year-old Miers lies beyond question. At night, her car is typically the last one left in the senior staff parking lot, between the Old Executive Office Building and the West Wing. Her dedication to President Bush is also unimpeachable.
(The New York Times, referring to Miers’s withdrawn SCOTUS nomination, states that “no one doubted her intellect, [but] some doubted her credentials to be a justice.” We disagree with the first proposition. In certain super-snobby quarters of the legal elite, her intellect was definitely questioned — even if few would do so publicly.)
We hear that Miers’s resignation, which she announced at this morning’s White House counsel staff meeting, came as a surprise to much of her staff. There’s also precious little information about her replacement.
* A well-established rule of English usage: With respect to Harriet Miers, the words “Supreme Court nomination” must always be preceded by “ill-fated.”
Additional commentary appears after the jump.

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