At The White House: Here Come The Lawyers

Mark Knoller is a White House Correspondent for CBS News.
In anticipation of things just like this most latest spate of supboenas from the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, President Bush has been beefing up the size and strength of his legal team.

In Germany last Friday, he quietly announced the hiring of nine – count 'em – nine new lawyers for the White House Counsels Office.

They include a new Deputy Counsel, two Special Counsels and six Associate Counsels. The additions bring to 22, the number of lawyers on the West Wing legal bench under the direction of White House Counsel Fred Fielding, who took over in February from Harriet Miers, the target of one of the new subpoenas.

Fielding came to the job with extensive experience as a White House lawyer – having helped both Presidents Nixon and Reagan with legal problems. He once served as a deputy to John Dean during the Watergate scandal, but emerged unscathed by it.

His hiring was seen as an effort by the White House to prepare for a surge in Congressional investigations, demands for documents and subpoenas, since democrats took control of the House and Senate.

All the lawyers in the White House Counsel's office work for the Government and their salaries are paid by taxpayers.

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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.