Thursday, October 11, 2007
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has made the standard move of any person subject to a governmental inquiry involving a white collar crime -- he hired his own defense counsel. Gonzales retained George Terwilliger, a former Deputy Attorney General during the administration of the first President Bush. The Department of Justice's Inspector General informed the Senate Judiciary Committee in August that it was investigating a number of issues involving the firing of eight U.S. Attorney's and whether Gonzales's testimony before the Committee constituted perjury, so there's a very good reason to lawyer up. According to the IG's letter (here):
The OIG has ongoing investigations that relate to most of the subjects addressed by the Attorney General's testimony that you identified. In particular, the OIG is conducting a review relating to the terrorist surveillance program, as well as a follow-up review of the use of national security letters. In addition, the OIG is conducting a joint investigation with the Department's Office of Professional Responsibility into allegations regarding the removal of certain United States Attorneys and improper hiring practices.
Terwilliger is a partner at White & Case so he will not come cheaply, and Gonzales has been working for the state and federal government since 1994 so his economic resources may be limited. Don't be surprised to see a legal defense fund organized soon to help out with the legal costs, if it hasn't begun already. An AP story (here) discusses Gonzales retaining Terwilliger. (ph)