Timothy E. Flanigan
Flanigan, facing "more questions from Senate Democrats about his links with indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff," withdrew his nomination, "according to a letter" released by Bush.
Flanigan was to replace Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, who left in August 2005 to be Lockheed Martin's new general counsel. Flanigan's nomination was sent to the Senate June 20, 2005, his confirmation hearing was not scheduled, and the White House has had his status listed as "pending". 
It was anticipated that Flanigan's nomination "could prompt a debate in the Senate because of his involvement in setting interrogation and detention policies while he was at the White House and because the [then] ongoing prosecutions of two former Tyco executives [were] being overseen by the deputy attorney general's office." 
"Flanigan joined Tyco as senior vice president and general counsel in November 2002, after two former executives, [then] on trial in New York left the company." 
L. Dennis Kozlowski, former chairman and CEO, and "his top lieutenant," Mark H. Swartz, "accused of misrepresenting the company's financial condition and improperly taking bonuses," were convicted of Grand Larceny in June 2005.
Nomination 2005: Timothy E. Flanigan, of Virginia, was nominated May 24, 2005, to be Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. "Mr. Flanigan currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel - Corporate and International for Tyco International. He previously served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel at the White House. Prior to joining the Administration, Mr. Flanigan was a partner in the law firm of White & Case LLP. Earlier in his career, he served as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Mr. Flanigan received his bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia." Personnel Announcement, White House, May 24, 2005.
Credentials 2002: "Chief counsel Al Gonzales may be a Bush favorite for the Supreme Court, but Flanigan is the designated hitter. Since he's tight with GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Flanigan will be the one the administration depends on to make the risky Homeland Security department a reality. Through Armey, he'll look to cut enough pork-barrel deals to retain the support of libertarian-minded members concerned about civil rights and thus keep the tiny Republican majority intact.
"Flanigan's conservative credentials are impeccable. After graduating from Brigham Young and the University of Virginia Law School, he served as an assistant AG in the Office of Legal Counsel under Bush the elder. Hours after the voting stopped in Florida two years ago, Flanigan hit the ground, organizing the legal attack for Bush. He worked in tandem with now solicitor general Ted Olson arguing Bush v. Gore in Supreme Court.
"Flanigan is one of those tireless grunts who made up the Reagan right. It was Flanigan who scoured the Clinton passport files for dirt. He backed Ken Starr, calling him 'moderate.' The father of 14 children, he opposes abortion. Like so many other Bush legal minds, he's a member of the Federalist Society, which gave him over $700,000 to write a biography of Chief Justice Warren Burger. According to press reports, Flanigan wants the return of the imperial president, arguing in one memo that the commander in chief doesn't have to enforce laws he doesn't like." --James Ridgeway, Village Voice, June 19, 2002.
- "Between 1996 and 1999, Flanigan was paid more than $800,000 as a consultant to the Federalist Society, an association of conservative lawyers with significant ties to the current Bush administration, to write an as yet unfinished biography of Burger.
- "The underwriters of the book were publishing magnate Dwight Opperman, whose family formerly controlled the West Publishing Co. legal publishing empire, and Wade Burger, Warren Burger's son, according to Federalist Society executive director Eugene Meyer." 
Nomination 1992: Timothy E. Flanigan, of Virginia, (born May 16, 1953, in Fort Belvoir, VA) was nominated April 9, 1992, by President George H.W. Bush to be an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. He would succeed J. Michael Luttig. ... Currently Mr. Flanigan serves as Acting Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Prior to this, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, 1990-91. He served with the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Washington, DC, 1988 - 90; and the law firm of Shearman & Sterling, 1986-88." Personnel Announcement, White House, April 9, 1992.
Edward P. Ayoob, Tyco's current lobbyist, is "lobbying for another cause these days," Robert Scheer wrote September 27, 2005: the confirmation of fellow-"Team Abramoff" member Timothy E. Flanigan "as the nation's second-highest law enforcement officer. Ayoob insisted last week that he is acting on his own and not on behalf of Tyco," Scheer said. "And, oh yes, Flanigan promises that, if confirmed, he will recuse himself from any Abramoff investigation involving Tyco. Sure."
Unconfirmed and Lacking in Experience
"The Judiciary Committee has yet to vote on Mr. Flanigan's nomination, and with the Senate now in recess and expected to take up the Supreme Court nomination of John G. Roberts, Jr. when it returns, some Justice Department officials worry that the Senate may not fill the No. 2 job until October at the earliest," Eric Lichtblau wrote in the August 15, 2005, New York Times.
"Mr. Specter said the Justice Department did not provide his committee the paperwork on Mr. Flanigan's nomination in time for action before Congress went into recess. 'We just didn't have a fair shot at getting him done,' he said.
"But even if Mr. Flanigan is confirmed, Mr. Specter said in the interview on Friday [August 12, 2005,] that he had concerns about the depth of criminal prosecution experience at the top of the Justice Department after the departure of Mr. Comey, a veteran prosecutor in Manhattan.
"Judiciary Committee members said that for the first time in memory, none of the most senior officials at the Justice Department" -- Alberto R. Gonzales, Flanigan, Robert D. McCallum, Jr., or Alice S. Fisher -- "would have experience as a criminal prosecutor."
Pre-empting the Law
"As generals prepared for war in Afghanistan, lawyers scrambled to understand how the new campaign against terrorism could be waged within the confines of old laws," Tim Golden, wrote in the October 24, 2004, New York Times.
Flanigan, he wrote, "was at the center of the administration's legal counteroffensive. A personable, soft-spoken father of 14 children, his easy manner sometimes belied the force of his beliefs. He had arrived at the White House after distinguishing himself as an agile legal thinker and a Republican stalwart: During the Clinton scandals, he defended the independent counsel, Kenneth W. Starr, saying he had conducted his investigation 'in a moderate and appropriate fashion.'"
"In the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Flanigan sought advice from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel on 'the legality of the use of military force to prevent or deter terrorist activity inside the United States,' according to a previously undisclosed department memorandum that was reviewed by The New York Times, Golden wrote.
The 15-page response, as well as the Legal Arguments for Avoiding the Jurisdiction of the Geneva Conventions, a sweeping 42-page memo, "came from John C. Yoo, a 34-year-old Bush appointee with a glittering résumé and a reputation as perhaps the most intellectually aggressive among a small group of legal scholars who had challenged what they saw as the United States' excessive deference to international law," Golden said.
"The idea of using military commissions to try suspected terrorists first came to Mr. Flanigan, he said, in a phone call a couple of days after the attacks from William P. Barr, the former attorney general under whom Mr. Flanigan had served as head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel during the first Bush administration," Golden wrote. "Military commissions, [Flanigan] thought, would give the government wide latitude to hold, interrogate and prosecute the sort of suspects who might be silenced by lawyers in criminal courts. They would also put the control over prosecutions squarely in the hands of the president."
"To act pre-emptively against Al Qaeda, the authorities would need information that defense lawyers and due-process rules might discourage suspects from giving up," Golden wrote. "Flanigan framed the choice starkly: 'Are we going to go with a system that is really guaranteed to prevent us from getting information in every case or are we going to go another route?'"
"The presidency will not concede any of its constitutional prerogatives while George W. Bush holds the office, his Deputy Counsel, Timothy E. Flanigan, asserted in a talk titled 'Restoring the Powers of the Presidency' March 5  at the [University of Virginia] Law School."
- Timothy E. Flanigan, "The Line Item Veto Act and the Limits of Executive Power," The Federalist Society, 2001.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Abu Ghraib
- Bush doctrine
- Bush administration cronyism and incompetence
- David Margolis
- David S. Addington
- enemy combatant
- Guantanamo Camp Xray
- Republican 'culture of corruption'
- "The Right-Wing Affiliations of Bush Administration Officials," "Right-Wing Watch"/People for the American Way: Timothy E. Flanigan.
- Nomination of Timothy E. Flanigan To Be an Assistant Attorney General by President George H.W. Bush, April 9, 1992.
- Albert Gore, Jr., et al. vs Katherine Harris, etc., et al., Florida Supreme Court, December 6, 2000. Motion to Appear granted for Benjamin L. Ginsberg, George J. Terwilliger III, Timothy E. Flanigan and Kirk Van Tine.
- Press Release: "Tyco Appoints Timothy E. Flanigan General Counsel, Corporate and International Law," Tyco International Ltd. (Bermuda), November 21, 2002.
- U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing Notice for July 26, 2005.
- DOJ Nominees and Appointments as of September 23, 2005, including links to official press release announcements, Department of Justice website.
Articles & Commentary
- M. Marshall, "Bush Is Intent on Preserving the Powers of the Executive Branch, Deputy Counsel Says," Virginia Law, University of Virginia, 2001.
- James Ridgeway, "Federalist Soceity Lawyers Behind Bush's Attacks On Civil Liberties. Background on Viet Dinh and Timothy E. Flanigan," Village Voice (Overthrow.com), June 19, 2002: "A Small Cartel of Conservative Lawyers Rewrites the American Rule Court Jousters."
- Tim Golden, "After Terror, a Secret Rewriting of Military Law," New York Times (The Ledger), October 24, 2004.
- Michael Isikoff, "2001 Memo Reveals Push for Broader Presidential Powers. A Justice Department lawyer may have been laying the groundwork for the Iraq invasion long before it was discussed publicly by the White House," Newsweek, December 18, 2004.
- Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman and Michael Hirsh, "Torture's Path. The paper trail is long, and it isn't pretty. But it's sure to produce some tough Senate questions for Alberto Gonzales," Newsweek, December 27, 2004/January 3, 2005 issue.
- Dan Eggan, "Ex-Aide To Gonzales Tapped for No. 2 Post," Washington Post, May 25, 2005.
- Andrew Ross Sorkin, "Tyco's Ex-Chief and Top Aide Are Convicted of Grand Larceny," New York Times (TruthOut), June 17, 2005.
- Dan Eggan, "Attorney General Brought Key Aides From Previous Post in White House Counsel's Office," Washington Post, July 5, 2005.
- Andrew Zajac, "Bush nominee faces grilling on links to suspect lobbyist," Chicago Tribune, July 16, 2005.
- Eric Lichtblau, "Justice Nominee Is Questioned on Department Torture Policy," New York Times, July 27, 2005.
- Brendan Coyne, "Torture Policy, Scandal Follow Deputy Attorney General Nominee," New Standard News, July 27, 2005.
- Walter F. Roche, Jr., "Nominee Is Linked to Controversy. Bush's choice for deputy attorney general worked with a lobbyist, now being investigated, in an effort to shield offshore firms from U.S. taxes," Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2005.
- Mark Sherman, "Career lawyer gets oversight of CIA probe," Associated Press (Boston Globe), August 12, 2005.
- Eric Lichtblau, "Tension Builds Between F.B.I. and Congress," New York Times (christusrex.org), August 15, 2005.
- R. Jeffrey Smith, "Tyco Exec: Abramoff Claimed Ties to Administration," Washington Post, September 23, 2005.
- Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo re Flanigan: September 23, 2005; September 25, 2005.
- Robert Scheer, "Corrupt Connections. Widening Abramoff scandal exposes GOP cronyism," robertscheer.com, September 27, 2005.
- "Judiciary Democrats Seek Second Hearing On Department Of Justice Nominee," Senator Patrick Leahy's Office, September 29, 2005. Senate Democrats wanted to know more about: (1) "The role Flanigan played in developing the Bush Administration’s interrogation policies governing detainees"; (2) "Flanigan’s dealings with indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff when Flanigan worked as general counsel for Tyco International."; and (3) "The lack of relevant prosecutorial experience. Like other top officials within the Justice Department, Flanigan lacks that relevant law enforcement experience."
- Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, October 6, 2005: "On October 18th, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on Deputy Attorney General nominee Timothy Flanigan's ties to Jack Abramoff. Flanigan will attend and Roll Call reports that Tyco has waived the attorney-client privilege Flanigan invoked to avoid answering Abramoff questions in his September 29th appearance."
- James Vicini, "Bush's pick for Justice Dept. job withdraws name," Reuters, October 7, 2005.
- Mark Sherman, "No. 2 Justice candidate withdraws name," Associated Press (CentreDaily.com), October 7, 2005.