Obama’s Counsel

According to recent reports from The Politico President-Elect Barack Obama has selected Gregory B. Craig to be his White House Counsel.

As the White House counsel, Craig will be one of the most influential members of Obama’s cabal. He will serve as the president’s lawyer, giving him legal advice and administering pardons and conflict-of-interest issues. Craig would also be the one to handle any legal defense President Obama might need while in he’s in office.

This is not a surprising choice on the part of President-Elect Obama in the wake of a bitterly contested Democratic Primary race. Gregory Craig is known as the “Lawyer of the Left” and is yet another Clinton re-tread being included in Obama’s cabal.

Craig’s Qualifications

The 63 year old Craig is a very well-schooled and experienced lawyer. He is the protege of the the legendary Beltway power brokering attorney, Edward Bennett Williams and is is a partner at the boutique litigation firm Williams founded, Williams & Connolly LLP. One does have to hope though that Craig’s extensive qualifications are not uniquely suited to Obama’s upcoming administration.

Craig represented the would-be assassin, John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to murder Republican President Reagan in 1981. Craig was reportedly the architect of Hinckley’s successful defense in which he was found not guilty by reason of insanity even though reports by the federal prosecution found Hinckley legally sane.

In 1998 President Clinton appointed Mr. Craig to be Assistant to the President and Special Counsel in the White House where Mr. Craig served as the head of the President’s team that was assembled to defend against his impeachment by Congress. Mr. Craig was also a member of the President’s trial team in the United States Senate and presented the President’s defense with respect to Count One during that trial.

Craig also represented Former Bolivian Defense Minister Carlos Sánchez-Berzaín in a federal lawsuit of crimes against humanity due to his alleged role in the suppression of labor union riots in 2003 that resulted in the deaths of 67 people. Sánchez-Berzaín stood accused of turning the army lose to butcher protesters in what was described as a brutal massacre of unarmed men, women and children, some of whom were reportedly shot at point-blank range.

Craig was counsel to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan during the Oil-For-Food scandal in which – alongside other grievous examples of corruption  – Annan was alleged to have arranged for his son Kojo to receive payments from the Swiss company Cotecna Inspection SA, which won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program.

Craig currently represents Pedro Miguel González, president of the Panamanian legislator who is wanted in the United States on the charges of Murder and Attempted Murder. The FBI has creditable evidence proving that Gonzalez, a vocal enemy of America, murdered one U.S. Army soldier and attempted to murder another. These serious accusations and González’s Panamanian government position are a primary reason the U.S. has halted a U.S.-Panama free trade accord.

Yes, Gregory B. Craig – The Lawyer of the Left – has a long and storied history of accomplishments in defending assassins, mass murderers, murderers of US servicemen, and corrupt politicians. Craig also – based on his partnership in Williams & Connolly LLP – has a great deal of experience with punitive and/or opportunistic litigation.

These are all useful qualifications for the personal lawyer of a Head of State.  I’ve been told though that Obama wants to usher in a new brand of American politics, so I must hope that Craig’s qualifications are not suited for his new position. If that’s the case though, then the only remaining remaining reason I can find for Obama selecting Craig as the White House Counsel is that Craig is a yet another Clinton White House veteran for Obama’s roster.

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2 Responses to “Obama’s Counsel”

  1. Craig Says:

    The fact that Craig represented John Hinckley, Jr. is pretty strange. For the love of money I guess.

  2. jonolan Says:

    Craig seems to have made a career out of defending the worst sorts of people. Maybe he did it for the money, maybe he did it because he believes in the same things they do, or maybe he just believes they deserve a defense in court.

    Still, not the sort I’d appoint as White House Counsel – unless I was planning some legal nastiness against my enemies or had a lot to cover up.

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