Dana Jill Simpson and Greg Craig

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this (written by Dana Jill Simpson’s lawyer to White House Counsel Greg Craig)–besides that this is what you get when you hire an uber-insider like Greg Craig to be your White House Counsel. And that if we can tie Richard Shelby to the Siegelman mess (remember, Jeff Sessions is already in deep), then I’d be okay with that.

I represent Dana Jill Simpson, an attorney in Rainsville, Alabama, who testified before Congress in September 2007, regarding Karl Rove’s involvement in the U.S. Justice Department prosecution of Gov. Don Siegelman.

She is very concerned that you have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct 1.6 , 1.7 and 1.10, while citing 1.9 to decline representation. She is equally concerned about the person or persons to whom you have divulged her confidential information. Your recent efforts on the part of negotiating a settlement between Congress and Karl Rove have been noted, as well as your efforts to delay matters before the D.C. Court of Appeals, regarding Rove and other Bush administration officers claiming executive privilege.

For this reason, she is asking that you step down from your position as White House Counsel, at least in all matters dealing with the Bush administration. Further, she is asking that you furnish her with a list of each and every person with whom you have communicated regarding this matter; that is, Miss Simpson’s affidavit, testimony, knowledge, research and any other matters touching or information furnished by Miss Simpson. In recapping the events linking you and
Miss Simpson:

1.) Upon information and belief, Gov. Don Siegelman or his agent made the direct call to you at your law firm, Williams & Connolly, soliciting your pro bono representation of Ms. Simpson, with regard to her affidavit about Karl Rove’s involvement in Siegelman’s prosecution.

2.) According to Ms. Simpson, you called her up to four times on or about March 16-17, 2007, and you faxed her your resume.

3.) She initially asked, “Before we really start this, do you have any contacts with George Bush, Karl Rove, Don Siegelman or Bob Riley?”

4.) You indicated you did not and said, “Tell me who this is about.”

5.) Your initial conversation with Ms. Simpson lasted about 10 to 15 minutes.

6.) In three conversations of nearly two hours, you extracted particular details of her involvement, and you asked her specifically about the length of time and character of her contact with Karl Rove, the extent of her work with the GOP and her knowledge of U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller’s owner-interest in Doss Aviation, a major federal contractor, and matters dealing with lobbyist G. Stewart Hall’s then-Federalist Group and the steering of contracts to Fuller’s company and companies related to Gov. Bob Riley’s son, Rob Riley.

7.) After this extensive questioning, which included another session for the questions you had formulated, you announced that you couldn’t represent her because you had represented Sen. Richard Shelby during the 2004-2005 investigations of his alleged national security leaks.

8.) Ms. Simpson says that you related to her that Sen. Shelby had told you “ in confidence” that he “owned and controlled Doss Aviation out of the federal courthouse in Montgomery,” and that Doss Aviation’s, 1 Church Street, mail was delivered to Shelby’s Senate office, even before Fuller was appointed judge. You told her that you “didn’t really like” Shelby, that the Doss connection had not been discovered during the previous hearing, but that, “It will come up, if you really go into it.”

9.) You failed to mention to Miss Simpson, however, that you were a friend of Karl Rove, had shared drinks with Karl Rove, that your law firm, Williams & Connolly, was representing Vice President Cheney on Scooter Libby’s role in the Valerie Plame case in which Rove was involved; that your firm has advised the White House not to turn over GOP emails regarding the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys. Nor did you disclose your firm’s involvement in defending Iran-Contra figures, which you knew or should have known play a key role in the current military contracts routed to Doss Aviation.

I’m wondering if Richard Shelby’s extensive lectures about how American corporations run their businesses includes using a Federal Judge as a front for your spooked up aviation firm?

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115 replies
  1. dakine01 says:

    A simple question: Is Greg Craig really this stoopid?

    And a simple answer: Yes, apparently he IS this stoopid.

    • emptywheel says:

      dakine

      Remember, GregCraig is the guy who told us, after Obama flipflopped on FISA, that he did so because “FISA was expiring.”

      And thought WE were stupid enough to buy that.

      So, yes, to answer your question, GregCraig is that stupid.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Simpson’s attorney sent that letter to Craig at the White House. There’s more in my Oxdown post here, with links to other sources. The story is from a regional paper in Knoxville, TN, but was covered a week earlier by Afterdowningstreet.com.

      Craig was, and his partner, Emmet Flood, who currently represents Bush before the DC Circuit on executive privilege mattes (after working as a lawyer in his administration), is at Williams & Connolly’s DC office. A standard Beltway megafirm. The range of conflicts, if allegations are true, seem sufficient to make the request for recusal reasonable.

  2. BayStateLibrul says:

    If this is true, a cease and desist order should be sent to Craig, along with an expiration date stamped to his back.

  3. Loo Hoo. says:

    We would appreciate an answer no later than three business days. Sincerely,
    Priscilla Black Duncan
    Attorney for Jill Simpson

    It’s EW’s link.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Simpson, through her attorney, would be writing as a private citizen. The appearance of or an actual conflict would be for his clients, his bar officials, and relevant tribunals to consider. The DC bar, unsurprisingly, has a reputation of being pretty lax about such things, given the ubiquity of conflicts inside the Beltway.

    Another angle on this is that Craig isn’t acting only as the president’s official (as opposed to personal) lawyer. He also acts as an administrator and a de facto judge when it comes to assessing what to do about the legal leavings of Bush, Rove, et al. As does Eric Holder, who apparently doesn’t have Craig’s same conflicts. They’re both, though, from the same litter of legal puppies.

  5. hackworth1 says:

    It appears that Greg Craig has stayed on as White House Counsel for the Obama administration after having worked for the Bush White House. During his tenure as Bush lawyer, Craig befriended Karl Rove.

    Why would Obama keep this Greg Craig around? Is Obama also a friend of Karl Rove?

    • bobschacht says:

      “Why would Obama keep this Greg Craig around? Is Obama also a friend of Karl Rove?”

      An excellent question. I’m also wondering if Craig’s fingers are all over the recent DOJ actions siding with BushCo. positions that we have found so distressing.

      Bob in HI

      • emptywheel says:

        Craig’s fingers ARE all over the recent DOJ actions siding with BushCO, as several of them took place before any other representative of Obama was in place.

        And that’s true independent of any ties to Rove.

        • JimWhite says:

          Sounds like time to organize a move to get him to resign before he’s nominated for the the Supreme Court or AG if he’s that into Bush echoes.

  6. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    you asked her specifically about the length of time and character of her contact with Karl Rove, the extent of her work with the GOP and her knowledge of U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller’s owner-interest in Doss Aviation, a major federal contractor, and matters dealing with lobbyist G. Stewart Hall’s then-Federalist Group and the steering of contracts to Fuller’s company and companies related to Gov. Bob Riley’s son, Rob Riley.

    Pass the smelling salts.
    Jeebuz, the word ‘corruption’ doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

    No wonder the GOP had so much fookin’ $$$ to toss at Congressional campaigns and Gov-ships. And no wonder that judge was in such a panic to toss Siegelman’s ass into federal prison, where his family didn’t even know his whereabouts.

    Buggers.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Scott Horton alluded to it last year at No Comment (Harper’s), so I knew something was sleazy, but this really sharpens the focus.
        Ay, yiiiii, yi!

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      And also, no wonder that the Senate Banking Committee (or was it Finance?) was so devoted under GOP control to ‘deregulation’ — evidently so that they could launder all the drug $$ coming and going on their private planes, eh?

      Holy. Shit.

      • hackworth1 says:

        A private aviation concern co-owned by a Senator on the Finance Committee and a high-level State Judge back home should be a lucrative business enterprise – especially if the President and his brain are counted among your friends.

        Like having a license to steal.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Nothing to see here, move right along…
          And if you think there’s something to see than you’re clearly a DFH leftyElitistConspiracyTheorist.

          Sorry to have to spell it all out fer ya 8^}}}

          • Phoenix Woman says:

            So I guess the Clintons are part of it too? Otherwise they wouldn’t have had him for Bill’s counsel. Don’t forget the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

            Greg Craig Biography

            Gregory Bestor Craig was born in Norfolk, Virginia on March 4, 1945 so his age is 63. Greg Craig is the son of William G. Craig who was a university educator, former Dean of Students at Stanford University, president of several universities and colleges, and the very first Director of Training for the Peace Corps.

            Greg Craig went to Harvard and graduated in 1967. He received his law degree in 1971 from Yale Law School, where he met Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham and became lifelong friends. His first employment following law school was with the Washington-based law firm Williams & Connolly, where he is now a partner.

            A trial lawyer with extensive experience in a wide variety of cases, Greg Craig has successfully defended individuals and entities in a number of high-profile criminal and civil proceedings. Many of his clients however have been controversial such as John Hinckley, Jr., who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan; the Cuban father of Elián González; he represented Pedro Miguel González Pinzón, a Panamanian legislator wanted in the US for the murder in 1992 of a US soldier and the attempted murder of another; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who faced a libel case in 1978; Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, in connection with the Volcker Commission’s investigation of the U.N. oil-for-food program; and of course President Clinton during the impeachment proceedings.

            He has also had a number of govermental positions. He was a foreign policy advisor to Senator Edward Kennedy and to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as well as Assistant to the President and Special Counsel to President Clinton.

            Greg Craig is married to Derry Noyes, a graphic designer who has designed several postage stamps for the United States Postal Service. They have 5 children.

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              Huh?
              My comment was intended to imply that Shelby-Fuller-Doss axis would be met with scorn and contempt, and that those of us here hooting over it and — in my case, wallowing in cynicism which I generally try to avoid as a health hazard — will be denigrated as lefties.

              We’ll all be told, as will the press, “Nothing to see here, move right along.”

              Remember when Josh Marshall first got wind that more than one USAG had been fired, but even calls to staffers on The Hill said, “Nah, not a big deal.” Then Josh Marshall marshalled the PowerOfNetworkedInformation, and viola: the stain of the USAG scandal started to seep out under the doorsill.

              I simply meant that there seems to be a stain leaking out from around a certain Senator Shelby of Alabama. No doubt he’s soon going to be busy screaming, “Out! Out, damn spot!!”

              Btwhwahahahah…

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Craig was a private lawyer at Williams & Connolly when he represented Karl Rove in his book deal. Obama hired him away, though it would be interesting, in a John Yoo-ish sort of way, if he resigned or took a leave of absence.

    It would also be interesting to know whether Craig and Rove discussed the substance of his book when considering whether it presented Rove with potential defamation or other claims, or presented facts a USA or the DOJ might want to inquire further about. Craig would have an obligation not to disclose those to anyone other than Rove himself, or anyone outside his old firm.

    Incidentally, Craig owes Ms. Simpson the same obligation of confidentiality regarding her communications to him, after which he apparently decided not to accept her as a client. I guess that means he talks with Emmet Flood about squash and not his other clients.

    As WH Counsel, though, Craig would be the point man between the administration and the DOJ. It would create a clear impression of a conflict if he were to advise Obama regarding the investigation or prosecution of Rove.

    As EW says, the administration hiring Holder and any of these Beltway ueber-laywers creates similar problems. They’re the go to guys and gals for the left and right.

    • emptywheel says:

      Then of course, Craid undoubtedly owed Shelby confidentiality for his confession that Fuller was a front for Doss and that he owned it.

      Which is I guess why she included this.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Lordy, when I saw Dana Jill Simpson on that “60 Minutes” piece on Rove/Siegelman, she kind of reminded me of the character in ‘Fried Green Tomatos’: Tawanda!!

        Here’s hoping she’s got some of that southern, don’t-f*ck-with-me-you-dickhead sass. Especially after someone torched her house for talking about Rove under oath.

        EOH, this looks like a homer right out over third base.
        Here’s hoping.

        Wow, what a whopper of a story (!)

  8. hackworth1 says:

    That Karl Rove. He’s a stinker! Fooling us with that asshole he propped up as President! Running the US into the toilet. What a fun guy! The sense of humor he’s got – he’s a riot! /s

  9. JThomason says:

    Cf. yesterday’s comment in response to Mary regarding casual relationships in DC:

    9.) You failed to mention to Miss Simpson, however, that you were a friend of Karl Rove, had shared drinks with Karl Rove, that your law firm, Williams & Connolly, was representing Vice President Cheney on Scooter Libby’s role in the Valerie Plame case in which Rove was involved; that your firm has advised the White House not to turn over GOP emails regarding the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys. Nor did you disclose your firm’s involvement in defending Iran-Contra figures, which you knew or should have known play a key role in the current military contracts routed to Doss Aviation.

    I don’t think Mary’s Lewinsky exception really applies here and my crystal ball is not receiving any strong signals of an impending frog-march.

  10. BoxTurtle says:

    Am I reading this right?

    At the time Craig was actively soliciting Simpson as a client and at the time he asked her about her case, he KNEW he had a disqualifying conflict of interest?

    I also read that while they suspect Craig shared the privileged info, they have no evidence that he actually did so.

    If he has to recuse himself, can even even realistically do his job? Cleaning up (covering up?) after Bush is likely to be 90% of that job.

    Boxturtle (Am I dreaming or is a long line of dominoes starting to fall?)

    P.S. This last added by edit just to see what it looks like.

  11. hackworth1 says:

    A lot of Craig’s client confidentiality has gone out the window. What is a snake in the grass to do?

  12. Mary says:

    Greg Craig IIRC got behind Obama early on, fundraising and promoting for him and at that point, Craig was kind of a coup bc he had formerly had such tight Clinton ties. So Obama owes.

    It bothers me that his bag of appointees for so many positions, though, comes from such a close circle of insiders – it’s pretty Bushian. Meanwhile, Kagan & Kris got out of Committee today, with Specter still whining on Kagan. But lookee what hiring Jack Goldsmith will getcha when he needs a place to land after time at torture central

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/

    Leahy noted Kagan’s support across a wide political spectrum. “Every solicitor general who served from 1985 to 2009 — in either Democratic or Republican administrations — has endorsed her nomination,” he said.

    Aww, Olsen and Clement? How nice for her. They can help show her around the theatre of operations – maybe point out the lawyers and law firms that have been illegally tapped. Or if that’s too tiring, they can try to find the ones who haven’t been.

    The camaraderie, it’s goosebumpy.

  13. Mary says:

    36 – you know how it is with country girls

    They foal btw. Generally I’m the one whelping while that’s going on.

    37 – I’m all for going with the flow on big firms representing lots of different players, but what business he had talking to Simpson at all is pretty difficult to understand, esp whem most people who work for a decent sized firm do something called a CONFLICTS SEARCH before they go that far down the line with a prospective client. And when all you have to search is you cocktail calendar to see the problem … ’snotgood.

    • bmaz says:

      I’m all for going with the flow on big firms representing lots of different players, but what business he had talking to Simpson at all is pretty difficult to understand, esp whem most people who work for a decent sized firm do something called a CONFLICTS SEARCH before they go that far down the line with a prospective client. And when all you have to search is you cocktail calendar to see the problem … ’snotgood.

      Exactly. And, from the sound of it, he really pumped her for info before summarily dumping her as a prospective client. A real patina of ugly on this one.

      • pmorlan says:

        When I got divorced years ago I went to an attorney that ended up being related to my ex. I didn’t know it at the time and told the guy the whole story before he told me that he couldn’t represent me because he was related to my husband. What a sleeze bag. I found out years later that he had shared my story with my ex. If it happened now I’d know enough to go after him.

  14. JThomason says:

    Cocktails is one thing, but I see no indication that Craig went duck hunting with Rove. No one is saying that they were popping phenobarbital in social settings or the like. I’m sure the bar would pick up on the appearance of impropriety with such a thing quickly.

    And its understandable that Craig would have compromised Shelby’s confidences with Ms. Simpson. It probably put Ms. Simpson at ease to talk freely knowing Craig was viscerally on her side. Its the kind of me first vulnerability that builds trust in DC.

    • klynn says:

      Its the kind of me first vulnerability that builds trust in DC.

      bawwwhhaaahaha!!!!

      You forgot your snark *g*

        • klynn says:

          Yes, but having lived and worked on policy writing in DC I was taken by your gift with language, tragic satire as it may be. You used the words:

          vulnerability, builds trust, and DC

          all in one sentence.

          *g*

          • JThomason says:

            I haven’t spent a lot of time in DC but I have seen enough to know the score. One evening during the Clinton “travelgate” era I was at the cafe in DC that was part of a bookstore/cafe get up near the hub of things and next to me was a table of congressional staffers. One of the staffers was as disturbed as any one I have ever seen over some “travelgate” matter. His companion was quietly insisting that he control himself, alas the pressure had already gotten to him.

            That and the edgy lean square-jawed intelligence officers (yes an assumption, but I don’t think I am far off), as it were, jogging the streets in packs in mid-morning let me know all I needed to know about the tone of the city.

    • Hmmm says:

      Its the kind of me first vulnerability that builds trust in DC.

      No doubt. Also the definition of being a con man, though. Give a small confidence to get a larger one in return.

  15. LabDancer says:

    This story is going to evolve down a number of branches, but I’m going to dwell a while on the issue of gregcraig conflicts.

    [1] It’s instructive to compare the choices of gregcraig with those of the unitard ubercounsel Fred Fielding, from when the latter was assistant to John Dean as White House counsel for Nixon. What Fielding has done to remain sufficiently ‘pure’ of these sorts of conflicts, among other things, such that he keeps returning, again & again, to that same office, is stick to running with the Republican pack, under the AEI-sponsored wank-tank [& suitably ironically-handled] “Legal Center for the Public Interest” & otherwise act only for interests that either dovetail with those of the administration [when it’s Republican, which means he’s been much in demand since his days under Dean], or for interests which need some way to convey the impression to the administration that they share some critical common interest [when it’s Democratic]. Thus, Fielding only occasionally appears in court on behalf of his client base, & then only during periods when his client’s interests appear to be served by the court being reminded of his involvement, and for whom; otherwise, he’s a fixer & a bargainer.

    [2] In contrast, the apparent party of choice of his counterpart gregcraig has been out of the executive branch during most of the latter’s professional career, & for the most part lefty wank-tanks have arrived as a phenomenon fairly recently [& are in a good deal more difficulty from the financial crisis, among other trends — but that’s for another thread] & mostly do not tend to serve to subsidize party hacks while out of office, or at least not so widely & brazenly. So gregcraig has actually had to go out there & get his hands dirty, more similar to what fearless leader & bmaz & others, particularly on the lake, noted as the chosen path of the current AG over the period of the recently-ended Reign of Error. Briefly put, as a lawyer one cannot expect to make a living at specializing in representing clients in trouble with the administration unless one is prepared to act mostly for clients who were, for at least some period of time, in the good graces of the administration.

    [3] Choosing to go with Beltway insiders like Holder & gregcraig thus carries different inherent challenges that going with sponsored hacks like Fielding. Marshalled against that potential downside is that something of an advantage to an incoming Democratic president is suggested by the mere fact that the previous Democratic president spent a good deal of his time in power embattled by personal legal challenges, to wit: his top lawyers can be assumed to have accumulated some presumably worthwhile experience working under legal & partisan pressure.

    [4] However, adding to those considerations is the fact that the most recent outgoing administration accumulated an extraordinary record of pursuing the commission of felonies as a matter of policy, as opposed to it’s predecessor’s inclinations being manifested more in some combination of impulsiveness, misdemeanor & naughtiness — tho of course the two shared with the majority of administrations the general resistance to facing up to errors in deliberative judgment & mistakes in execution. And, perhaps due at least in part in having to deal so much with the former, extraordinary types of executive law-breaking, it would seem to me very unlikely that either Holder nor gregcraig would ever have gained any useful experience in dealing prudently with latter, more prosaic types of executive fubar [which types it should be noted carry the additional distinction from the former types as being inevitable].

    [5] Moreover, it tends to make things worse that, one’s experience lies in using tools proven possibly useful in dealing with executive crimes, one’s inclination is to resort to those same tools in dealing with said prosaic challenges inherent in the executive function. Put another way, one must concerned as to how a hammer views the world.

    [6] The president already has done a number of quite extraordinary things. But in choosing to go a different way than Carter did, with a lot of outsiders, instead trending heavily to the emmanuels, geithners, daschles, greggs, holders & gregcraig’s, this Achilles is showing his heel. As to gregcraig in particular, this latest episode is just the tip of the iceberg. Time to take advantage of his wife’s tax problems & cut him loose.

  16. WilliamOckham says:

    Not to belittle the accusation here, but that was a good way to bring out the Shelby-Fuller-Doss allegation.

  17. WilliamOckham says:

    Wow, Wayne Madsen had this over a month ago:

    We have also learned that Craig had other conflicts-of-interest. Craig represented Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby in an ethics matter involving Doss Aviation, a defense contracting firm that the federal judge who tried and sentenced Siegelman, Mark Fuller, had a major financial stake. Shelby is also alleged to have a major financial interest in Doss Aviation. WMR previously reported that in financial statements filed by Fuller, the address for Doss Aviation was listed as the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Montgomery. We have now learned that the use of the courthouse address for Doss pre-dates Fuller’s nomination as a federal judge by a couple of years and the courthouse was and is used by Shelby as a mail drop.

    • Phoenix Woman says:

      Then I guess the Clintons are in on it and have been since forever, since Craig was Bill Clinton’s impeachment counsel.

      I would be very, very careful about taking everything Wayne Madsen types uncritically.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I meant wow as in wow, Wayne Madsen actually got something right. He traffics in rumors. Occasionally rumors have substance.

      • Styve says:

        …and your evidence is exactly what?? Madsen is way ahead of the curve on intelligence matters and it is such crap to diss him with the trite “conspiracy theorist” slams that the less-informed routinely resort to.

    • NCDem says:

      EW refers to the “spook” Doss Aviation and after reading your linked comment from Wayne Madsen, I found this pdf note from Madsen.
      http://donsiegelman.org/files/….._11_08.pdf

      I was especially interested in the possible CIA connections of Bill Johnson, former aide to Gov Riley, with Doss Aviation and backtracking to the connections to Iran-Contra.

      Also of note and possible more research is the direct link from John Dean…Fred Fielding…to now Craig’s role in the WH. All of these individuals have connections suggested in their past to CIA. Russ Baker was the most recent to suggest John Dean as having more than a clean hand in dealing with Nixon.

      Although some may think Wayne may wear his hat too tight, I have always found his suggested links well resourced. I have recently seen connections in the sordid mess with Allen Stanford along these lines. I looked closely at the sites for Doss Aviation at their site. I find it odd that so many of these CIA front companies have locations in FL near Miami, in TX, right at the border, or in Montana right next to Canada. Ports of entry no doubt.
      This whole Siegelman case sticks but now that I see Shelby and Doss Aviation involved, it begins to make more sense.

      • Hmmm says:

        OT –

        I find it odd that so many of these CIA front companies have locations in FL near Miami, in TX, right at the border, or in Montana right next to Canada.

        FWIW, the Mexican authorities are now publicly blaming their drug war explosion on the US drug users market and corrupt US drug enforcement officers. Paging Olly North..

  18. MrWhy says:

    Has anyone verified the authenticity of the letter from Simpson’s attorney Duncan to WH Counsel Craig?

  19. randiego says:

    I’ve followed the Siegelman case via Scott Horton – I’ve read pretty much all of his columns on it, but never the affidavit.

    It’s a doozy.

  20. Phoenix Woman says:

    Craig is not a GOP tool. In fact, he is a longtime friend of the Clintons and was Bill Clinton’s defense counsel in the impeachment farce. Which is why wingnuts hate him.

    From RightPundits, a right-wing blog:

    You remember this guy don’t you? He’s Gregory B. Craig who first became a national figure when he represented President Clinton in his Senate impeachment trial. He endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries and later played a key role in The One’s vice presidential vetting process. He actually played the role of John McCain in debate preparations for the 2008 elections.

    Now reports say he has been tapped to the The One’s White House Counsel. It should be finalized and then announced sometime next week. And just so you know, the White House Counsel is actually among the most powerful of the West Wing inner circle. It serves as the President’s lawyer, giving him legal advice and handling pardons and conflict-of-interest issues.

    Interestingly though, in its November 2008 issue, the American Bar Association’s monthly magazine, ABA Journal, predicted that Greg Craig would be named Secretary of State in an Obama administration. Whatever.

    Is it just me or does The One’s administration of hope and change look alot like used, perjured, and impeached?

    No mention of Rove here. If Craig really was a Rove buddy, the wingnuts wouldn’t be hating on him.

    • LabDancer says:

      You don’t need to accept any part of the drinky-poo with Karl line to appreciate that gregcraig is hopelessly conflicted here.

      • Phoenix Woman says:

        But the whole “he’s best buds with Karl Rove” and heavily implying a Bush-Rove-Craig connection is what has everyone here so excited — and what Simpson is using to get us all excited.

        • LabDancer says:

          I really don’t care what’s ‘exciting’ the excitable. As I stated in my first response on this development, I’m interested in the conflicts, & even then less in how this one came about than in how this one is representative of an endemic problem with craig & those of his ilk. Tho in relation to Holder, bmaz made this point weeks ago: there are hundreds of thousands of lawyers in the US, tens of thousands of good ones, & thousands of actually superb ones; going with gregcraig [or holder for that matter] shows a tendency to opt out to the establishment on areas which while they may not be a priority for this president at this point, are properly understood of vital importance to the SOTU. This goes beyond paraphrasing Helen Thomas [”Doesn’t he know anybody?”]; it goes right to the sort of problem JThomason is: the special exempt status granted WDC.

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              Heh, for a Radiohead fan, maybe he’ll make exceptions.

              But wow, is this ever an intriguing tale – the Shelby-Doss-Fuller part, I mean.

              • JThomason says:

                At some point doesn’t, if one considers the reasonably expected outcomes from the signals being sent and the back channeled scripts obviously being shopped, the tale looks like this Obama-Craig-Rove(Bush)-Shelby-Doss-Fuller-Seligman. Obama and Craig are linked here in the after the fact condonation loop.

                I just can imagine the point in time last summer when Craig consulting with Obama over FISA said something like “you know you are going to want these powers when you become President.”

                There may be great social merit in the Obama presidency but where is the light for the rule of law. The point here being that if a line is not drawn with respect to the parameters of good faith especially in US Attorney debacle that the scope of permissible government action presumed to inure immunity without inquiry will only broaden. It irks me that we are into the new administration and little accountability seems to be in the offing. Sure Guantanamo will be closed, extraordinary renditions and torture are suspended but it is my sense that these checks were negotiated with Fielding a few years ago and in exchange for the Democrats in Congress sat on their hands. The result is that Obama is needlessly entangling himself in elitist institutional politics and this is his choice but a proactive Congress in the previous administration could have diverted some of this heat. I know its moot and there is plenty of the innuendo of elitist protectionism with which to saddle a bunch of democrats, but it nevertheless sticks in my craw.

  21. Hmmm says:

    Unless that should be ‘whelpling’ per Mary’s country-girl-stuff, meets ‘FirePups’.

  22. orionATL says:

    why did simpson’s attorney wait so long to send the letter?

    this sounds more like an attack on craig. i wonder if it is co-ordinated.

    for what he’s done on the state secrets stuff alone, i hope craig goes down –

    and fast.

    but, alas, only the good die young.

    • lllphd says:

      perhaps because it came out today how deeply involved the WH (i.e., craig) was in negotiating the terms of rove’s and harriet’s depositions?

      i dunno; this is all just too bizarre.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      I’ll be interested to see if Feinstein has a real investigation in mind or if she’s just putting together a whitewash to head off a real inquiry. I’ve got no problem with her doing an investigation in the Intel committee. If she tries to derail a public investigation, then I’d have a problem. We’ll just have to wait and see. No, actually, we’ll need to agitate for a public inquiry as loudly as possible.

  23. Mary says:

    76 – I don’t know what you mean by “part of it” but if you are commenting on the issues of conflicts of interest raised – then no, the Clintons are not “part of it.”

    There are some pretty clear conflicts issues – conflicts with his firm are imputed to Craig as well for that matter, without informed waivers and chinese walls.

    There are going to be more conflicts issues on down the road as well.

    Also not involving the Clintons.

  24. Mary says:

    71 – I’d guess the involvement of Craig in directly negotiating the appearance deals with Rove is what triggered the letter.

    Given his firm’s representation of Rove on the book deal and Cheney in the Plame case, it’s a straw that most camels wouldn’t like.

  25. JThomason says:

    The Adult in the Room?

    A cover letter from Gregory Craig and a compromise on revealing the contents of a key memo from the Bush White House Counsel’s office both suggest the Obama White House took a very active role in negotiating a resolution to the standoff over Karl Rove’s and Harriet Miers’ testimony before Congress.

    –David Kurtz

    TPM

  26. oldtree says:

    Does it not indicate that Craig was in fact, working for someone else as he pretended to represent Dana Simpson? It appears he has inside information that no one but party to the “need to know” would have. Is that not worthy of disbarment? Is that not in fact a reason for disbarment?

  27. chisholm1 says:

    Am I crazy or does this whole thing read as though Craig wanted to find out exactly what Simpson knew in order to communicate to Rove, Shelby et al? He went to her looking for information, then once he got it he ditched her. He was after how much she knew.

    Did I read this wrong?

  28. nellieh says:

    I e-mailed Conyer’s office about this letter. I doubt Obama knows about his relationship with Rove and his firm’s representing Cheney in the Libby case. Conyers is being played with Craig as the Obama advocate in this. Was he representing Rove’s interests or the President’s interest and by extension our interest. Cream isn’t the only thing that rises to the top. Turds do to.

    • LabDancer says:

      The issue of Oath or No Oath is completely meaningless in the context in which Meiers & Rove are to be questioned: a Congressionally-authorized investigation. Want a parallel? One of the four counts on which Mini-Dick Scootzie Libby stands convicted was for lying to FBI investigators in the context of a CIA-requested, White House-tolerated/endorsed [sort of] & DOJ-authorized investigation – for which no oath is required. There are a number of interest aspects to this arrangement, but Oath or No Oath is not among them.

      • LabDancer says:

        Oooo – just used Edit function for the first time: violin section amped in; whiff of eucalyptus in the air; endorphin surge; need cigarette …

        • bobschacht says:

          Be calm. Slowly reach and grasp the nearest stable and sturdy object attached to Terra Firma. Exhale. Slowly lower yourself to the ground. Retaining a grasp on Terra Firma, inhale and exhale in slowly measured tones, chanting “Editing is good, but Preview is my friend.”

          There now. Sanity restored?

          Bob in HI

  29. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    For your viewing pleasure, Scott Horton is on Olbermann’s show tonight. It’s just started. Probable topic though is Horton’s comment about the 8 yrs. of dictatorship that ended on Jan. 19.

  30. orionATL says:

    craig’s role in a LOT of issues since jan 21 has interested me; he seems to be functioning in the way an attorney general used to function.

    “normally” (there used to be a “normal” in american politics) the attorney general was a trusted confidant of the prez and one part of his job description was to protect the prez from depredations of the law.

    craig seems to have been doing the AG job from the get-go (hate that phrase, but it popped out of the typewriter).

    i wonder if obama effectively moved the attorney general’s office into the white house, just as he moved the dnc to chicago?

    was eric holder, then, intended as a pseudo attorney general,

    a place holder, aka, a zero?

  31. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    And further pleasurable viewing, Rachel Maddow has Gov. Don Siegelman on tonight, beginning now.

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