The Blog

Meet Greg Craig, Obama's White House Counsel

3:49 PM, Nov 17, 2008 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Mike Allen reported over the weekend that "Gregory B. Craig, a well-known Washington lawyer who quarterbacked President Bill Clinton's impeachment defense, has been chosen White House counsel by President-elect Barack Obama".

Believe it or not, the time Craig spent shilling for Clinton may have been his most honorable days of work. John J. Miller wrote in this May 2000 article National Review:

In the early 1980s, [Craig] was an attorney for John Hinckley, the man who shot President Reagan and three others. Craig helped put together an insanity defense that led to Hinckley's acquittal. Nine years later, he advised Ted Kennedy in the Palm Beach rape case involving the senator and his nephew, William Kennedy Smith. ...

Craig orchestrated a 1984 [Senate] hearing for Kennedy on alleged human-rights abuses committed by Nicaragua's rebels, the Contras. He worked with groups closely tied to the Sandinista regime to find witnesses for the forum, which led to a round of anti-contra news coverage in the U.S. Soon afterward, however, Joshua Muravchik, currently of the American Enterprise Institute, exposed a fraud: The most compelling witnesses - three Miskito Indians - had been served up by the Sandinistas.

And a fourth participant, Father Alfredo Gundrum, an American priest living in Nicaragua, had been asked to play the role of honest broker - to place the testimony "into some kind of perspective," as Kennedy put it. Gundrum, described as "totally apolitical" in background material distributed by Kennedy's staff, told of how the Contras launched vicious raids on Indian villages "almost every day." Yet Gundrum had been the subject of a San Francisco newspaper article just one month before the hearing. He was photographed standing before his church with a Soviet-made rifle in his hands and quoted as saying, "To me it was a day of grace the day the Sandinistas took over, and I really mean it."

In 2000, while serving as the lawyer for Elian Gonzalez's father, Craig did the bidding of the Castro regime by killing an agreement "to transfer custody of Elian to his father, as long as [Elian's family from Miami] could live with the boy and his father in an environment free of U.S. and Cuban officials." Since then, Craig has represented foreign officials accused of war crimes such as former Bolivian Defense Minister Carlos Sánchez-Berzaín and Pedro Miguel González, the president of Panama's legislature, who is under federal indictment for the murder of U.S. Army Sgt. Zak Hernández Laporte.

But at least he didn't lobby for Fannie Mae.