President Bush is signing up legal help as he girds for battle with the Democratic-led Congress.

Faced with a flurry of document requests and expanding congressional investigations, the White House announced Friday that Bush had hired nine lawyers, including five who’ll fill new jobs in the president’s legal office. The recruits have solid experience in white-collar crime, government investigations and constitutional law.

Legal experts said the hires indicated that Bush was gearing up to fight congressional inquiries that he considered an encroachment on presidential power. The president has accused Democrats of seeking to score political points by delving into White House deliberations on a host of issues.

“This indicates a war-on-all-fronts legal strategy against congressional oversight,’’ said Washington lawyer Bruce Fein, who served as the deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration.

Some of the lawyers named in Friday’s announcement already have joined the 22-member White House legal team.

Emmet Flood, a Republican who served on former President Clinton’s legal team during Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, left his Washington law firm last summer to represent Vice President Dick Cheney in the CIA leak case,

More recently, Flood has resisted Congress’ efforts to obtain White House e-mails that were sent through the Republican Party’s e-mail system. He previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Another White House hire, Francis Hoang, represented a civilian translator who was suspected of abusing detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Three of the new employees once worked at White House counsel Fred Fielding’s Washington law firm. Three are former federal prosecutors. Three clerked for Supreme Court justices. Most come from top-ranked law schools, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Georgetown.

Bush, who’s tested the limits of presidential authority on issues ranging from electronic eavesdropping to the control of presidential papers, has made no secret of his frustration with congressional investigations.

After six years with a compliant Republican-led Congress, the White House is facing a host of congressional investigations and demands for top presidential advisers to testify. The White House and Congress could be headed for a showdown if Democrats follow through on threats to subpoena White House adviser Karl Rove and former White House counsel Harriet Miers for an investigation into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

“The White House is laying in its stone wall,” said John Flannery, a former federal prosecutor and a Democratic activist. “They are preparing to deflect the subpoenas for Rove and Miers from the beaches of Capitol Hill to the heights of the Supreme Court if necessary.”

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore acknowledged that the hires are directly related to the change of power in Congress.

“Our goal is to simply have the right people in place to adequately address issues and requests that come our way. Obviously, there’s been an increase with the new Congress,” she said. “While we do recognize some requests as legitimate and responsible requests for information, others are unfortunate fishing expeditions.”


  1. Tax dollars to hire the marionettes initially. Tax dollars to bail ’em out.

    Georgie’s daddy said it best: Hang on to your wallet!


  2. Finally we’re going to be exposed to a “national level” example of lawyers manipulating the law for the benefit of the powerful and rich.

    This will be the best example yet of lawyers being able to twist the LAW to say whatever is needed for the moment. This group of scumsuckers will jump through their own anal orifice to find some way to erase of expunge whatever sins IdiotBush has committed–and they are many.
    And there are still those who look on the legal “pseudo-profession” as an honorable pursuit.

    Along with getting private money out of our political process, we would do well do outlaw the participation of all lawyers. They sell LAW to the highest bidder and what they can’t win outright they will endlessly delay through, you guessed it, manipulation of the LAW.

    There is a direct correlation between the way LAW is manipulated and the healthy disrespect for the LAW so evident in our society.
    I micturate on all lawyers!

  3. is the first sign you have something to hide.

    Of course, Bush is probably getting ready to hire his impeachment defense attorneys as well. I hope Bush and all who supported him are hauled up before the Hague, it would at least seem like justice.


  4. …is getting nervous. Woohoo! Well, he should be nervous because the words ‘voter caging’ are being thrown around and if it’s found that Karl Rove helped his emperor steal the 2004 election to keep him in power, oh boy! He’s gonna need 20 attorneys. And let’s not even get started on the lies to take our nation to war and all of his unconstitutional acts for the past 6 years or so!

    Imprison them all.

  5. Are attorneys. Many of them are damn fine Constitutional scholars. We have a conservative Judicial branch, and a Dumbass in the Executive. But I have a hard time thinking that Dumbass can fudge out of Congressional torts just because he’s hired a brace of weasels for his kingdom.

    Now if the Demos could just find some cojones . . .

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