As reported elsewhere, recently departed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has hired White & Case partner George Terwilliger to represent him in the ongoing investigation over his management of the Justice Department.
Terwilliger was a senior official at the department during the George H.W. Bush administration and was briefly acting Deputy Attorney General.
Interestingly, he was part of a panel that spoke about Gonzales’ tenure at the Brookings Institution back in April.
In his remarks, Terwilliger defended the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and other activities within the department that have attracted criticism from Democrats, such as the decision to focus on voter fraud cases before elections.
But, without mentioning Gonzales by name, he was critical of the prominent role junior level staffers were given in picking candidates for dismissal, as revealed in various internal department emails.
“I am offended and I would have been offended had I been a U.S. attorney by some of the discussion that is in those emails,” Terwilliger said.
He went on to add that "people at the experiential level of some of the staffers who were involved there are in no position to be making judgments about presidentially appointed federal prosecutors around the country.”
However, asked at the event if Gonzales should resign, Terwilliger declined to respond.
“I think it’s a bit of a Washington parlor game that I just don’t care to play,” he said.