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White House Job Plan for Lawyers?


Today’s Wall Street Journal carries the surprising news that White House counsel Greg Craig may soon be leaving his job, evidently because his very liberal policy positions on national-security issues have created political problems for the White House. (But wasn’t it President Obama who made the decisions on these matters?)

On a different note, one passage in the article particularly struck me: 

Mr. Craig has built a White House counsel’s office of formidable size, with 41 lawyers, according to the administration’s most recent filings. Mr. Bush left office with about 30 lawyers in his counsel’s office.

I’m reliably informed that eight years ago the White House counsel’s office had, all included, around 13 lawyers. The increase to “about 30” by the end of President Bush’s second term is obviously large, but, as I understand it, most of that increase occurred in 2007 and 2008 to enable the White House to respond to the countless congressional investigations that the new Democratic leadership in Congress initiated. President Obama’s White House doesn’t face a hostile majority in Congress, so the enormous size of the White House counsel’s office is really astounding.


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