Skip to comments.Justice drops defense of Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz
Posted on 02/22/2011 9:44:39 PM PST by Nachum
The Justice Department under President Barack Obama has quietly dropped its legal representation of more than a dozen Bush-era Pentagon and administration officials - including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and aide Paul Wolfowitz - in a lawsuit by Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla, who spent years behind bars without charges in conditions his lawyers compare to torture.
Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, confirmed Tuesday that the government has agreed to retain private lawyers for the officials, at a cost of up to $200 per hour. Miller said conflicts concerns prompted the decision. He did not elaborate.
One private attorney involved in the case, who asked not to be named, said the Obama administration apparently concluded its duty to represent the defendants zealously, which includes the duty to argue any and all defenses, cant be discharged for reasons of policy and other government interests.
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
Who is paying for Padilla’s attorneys?
Paul Wolfowitz, also mentioned in the above article, worked for SecDef Rumsfeld under Ford and was Rumsfeld’s Deputy SecDef under GW Bush.
The problem arises in part from the fact that many of the DOJ lawyers now setting legal policy for the war on terror previously waged lawfare against the War on Terror during W’s administration, Eric Holder among them. The lawyers now representing us against the enemy formerly represented the enemy against us on related matters. It’s actually scandalous, but the issue has gotten very limited traction. Various “recusals” have been required from these guys, but given the political corruption of DOJ under Holder, it’s a joke.
Rumsfeld’s private lawyers, David Rivkin and Lee Casey, are the best lawyers in America for this case. He’s got the dream team, and is much better off with them than with conflicted former lawyers for terrorists at DOJ driving him into the ditch.
For all we know, Rumsfeld’s private counsel wanted them off the case and provoked this withdrawal by DOJ.
Thanks for your reply.
Do you remember: Wasn’t there a request for a list of DOJ lawyers who defended Gitmo Gang members? Was that ever supplied?
Holder needs to be in prison already.
The "conflict" is that the 0bama Justice Dept. is working for al-Queada.
Grassley was the one asking for that. Just found this article on the subject.
More than five years before that, Joseph Guerra, now Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at the Justice Department, was one of five lawyers from the firm Sidley Austin to help three civil liberties groups, including the self-described "conservative" Rutherford Institute, file a detainee-related brief with the Supreme Court.
The brief urged the justices to hear the case of Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen who was held as an "enemy combatant" before the Bush Administration decided in 2006 to prosecute him in a civilian court..
No no. He interfaced with Kissinger quite a bit in President Nixon’s administration. There’s alot of misinformation on Rummy in this post. Get his book, just came out days ago, “Known and Unknown, A Memoir”.
“If it counts any and all legal service (including much cheaper paralegal pencil pushers and form filers) it might not be a bad deal overall.”
You might be right.
However, in any big city where there’s a concentration of very successful attorneys, $200 per billable hour is still a drop in the bucket.
Double that, and you will be in the ballpark.
I see this as a PR move—damage control in advance. Every statement in defense of these guys would be grabbed by Zero’s far-left base as proof that he’s not far left enough. Impossible to be politically expedient and also just in a case like this.
well looks like zero has set a nice way of doing business.
one we must remember when his time comes for acts of sedation
I have to agree with this move to the extent that Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz, et al. will be better represented than they would from DOJ attorneys. However, this is a blatant admission that the powers that be at today’s DOJ are not objective attorneys, who willingly do the government’s work that they are hired to do instead of being biased towards the agenda of Obama and Holder.
The relevant DOJ department heads and attorneys, and Holder, should be brought before Congress and investigated. Perhaps funding for their fiefdoms can be reduced or eliminated
We remember the zealous prosecutor of Sen. Stevens, Nicholas A Marsh, who came under fire and ended up offing himself. Marsh’s name should never be forgotten as a traitor to his profession, oath and office. I hope his family is not drawing ANY federal pension. I never *liked* Stevens, but this sort of prosecutorial abuse with a political end from a government employee should never been accepted.
Remember “No one pays retail any more, why should you?
“$200/hour is on the low end of attorneys’ hourly billable retail. BUT an assured $200/hour beats all hell out of not getting paid for hundreds of $400/hour clients. Like medical bills with insurance companies, most attorneys don’t get paid retail.
True...most attorneys aren’t paid retail.
“Like medical bills with insurance companies, most attorneys dont get paid retail.”
Apples and oranges...
You’re speaking of privately employed attorneys.
When the federal govenment contracts an attorney, you can bet your life they will be overpaid.
>> Obama has quietly dropped its legal representation of more than a dozen Bush-era Pentagon and administration officials
Is this a joke, satire? Tell me that no POTUS would be so subversive.
IMO he is one of the most overrated Sec of Def in modern history X 2 meaning his tenure under Ford and that under Bush. I hope no other POTUS offers him such a position again. Our military woes in the mid to late 70's were partly his doing as well. It's simply a matter of he never was the right man for this job.
$200/hour in the DC lawyers market is really on the low end. I think the govt is paying wholesale, not overpaying.
See the matrix for attorneys’ fees per the US Attorney’s Office as of 2003 at the link below. $200/hour falls between 1-3 and 4-7 years experience. If I’m Donald Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz, I might want a lawyer with a bit more experience.
I can’t find updated information, but would be willing to bet their rates haven’t gone down in the past 8 years. Some of the big name firms in DC are now charging over $1000/hour.
I totally agree with your post, and I’ll go even further.
They will pay $200 per hour knowing that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz require better attorneys than that, given the charges and their stature...and the fact that they’ve been publicly demeaned so badly that it would be hard to find a jury who doesn’t have an opinion already.
They are throwing them to the wolves if those two don’t pay very heftily out of their own pockets...not only for high priced attorneys, but for PR firms, as well.