January 8, 2007


Bush Picks a Replacement for Harriet Miers (MIKE ALLEN, 1/08/07, TIME)

In a signal that he could be open to working more closely with congressional Democrats rather than stonewalling, President Bush plans to name the widely respected Republican lawyer Fred F. Fielding as White House counsel this week, party sources tell TIME. [...]

"He's the guy who helps you defend your position, stick to your principles, but tries to work out a reasonable compromise," the official said. "He's highly partisan, but he's highly regarded by everyone." The idea came from Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, and Administration officials said they regarded it as a savvy choice. [...]

Fielding was Counsel to President Reagan from 1981 to 1986, deputy White House counsel from 1972 to 1974 and associate White House counsel from 1970 to 1972. He was Clearance Counsel for the Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition in 2000 and 2001, and has degrees from Gettysburg College and University of Virginia School of Law.

"The key for the Administration is going to be drawing the lines on these boundaries of executive privilege and access to documents and congressional oversight -- drawing the lines around the really important issues and trying to be a little more flexible on the others," said a former colleague of Fielding. "They're not going to fold, because Fielding is a very serious, hard-nosed person, and he's a tough negotiator. But they're also going not to take a totally stonewall position. That doesn't mean they're going to cave in. What it means is they're going to negotiate and focus on the things that they're truly protecting and that are truly important."

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 8, 2007 5:32 PM
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