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George J. Terwilliger III
It was reported October 10, 2007, that Terwilliger, a "white-collar crime defense attorney", had been hired by former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales "to represent him in investigations of mismanagement" of the U.S. Department of Justice. "Investigators are look[ing] into allegations that Gonzales lied to lawmakers and illegally allowed politics to influence hiring and firing at the department."
Interestingly, on April 10, 2007, Terwilliger served as a panelist for the Brookings Institution Judicial Issues Forum entitled "Politics and the Justice Department: Finding a Path to Accountability".
On August 27, 2007, Terwilliger was listed among the "Top Contenders" to replace Gonzales, "whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress". Gonzales resigned August 27, 2007, and left office on September 17, 2007.
- 1 Controversy
- 2 Profiles
- 3 Affiliations
- 4 Presidential nomination: 1992
- 5 Contact information
- 6 Resources
Terwilliger, Deputy Attorney General under Edwin Meese, is described as having "acted as the Political Liability Suppression Officer for the Department of Justice in the post-Iran-Contra environment. Terwilliger, in concert with his Lowell Jensen (now Federal District Judge Lowell Jensen) acted to suppress or manipulate Iran-Contra prosecutions in sensitive jurisdictions, particularly in Miami to ensure that no government connection would be mentioned."
- "... one of the things that I found very bothersome about Iran-Contra was that some of the prosecutions for false statements involved false statements that were made in unrecorded interviews with investigators, not in sworn testimony under oath ....
- "But whether or not there was substantive violation of law in Iran-Contra surrounding this policy dispute was never really adjudicated: Nobody was ever charged with that crime ...
- "But the bottom line is that whether or not there was a violation of law, substantively it was problematic. And the fact that people were hounded, pursued, over alleged false statements, I mean, do we hear an echo here to the complaints from the left and from Democrats about an independent counsel hounding somebody for... "
2000 Florida recount
During the Florida 2000 election recount, Terwilliger led Republican President-elect George W. Bush's legal team and was "an advisor to the Bush-Cheney Transition and counselor to designated cabinet and other prospective appointees."
Candidate for FBI director
2002 Jeb Bush election team
In November 2002, again on behalf of the Republican Party, Terwilliger led a "team of 350 lawyers to handle any possible courtroom battles" following the election of President Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, as Governor of Florida.
Americans for a Better Country
In 2003, Terwilliger co-founded the 527 committee Americans for a Better Country with Frank J. Donatelli, former Ronald Reagan White House political director and secretary and treasurer of the Young America's Foundation and Craig Shirley, president and CEO of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs.
Abramoff "gave his client Tyco International an early warning in 2003 that the government was about to suspend Tyco's federal contracts—inside information he received from a General Services Administration official ... Terwilliger said that Abramoff's "tip was of substantial benefit to Tyco but was unsolicited."
Terwilliger "briefly took the helm of the Justice Department as acting attorney general after the departure of former Attorney General William Barr in 1993."
"Highlights of this service include his leadership in resolving matters such as BCCI, an international banking scandal, environmental cases, antitrust merger reviews and enforcement matters, civil rights and voting cases as well as terrorism and national security cases. Mr. Terwilliger was also in charge of all Justice Department operations, including crisis response, such as the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992. On policy matters, he was a principal in the highest councils of government charged with addressing the broad array of legal policy issues arising in the Executive Branch."
- Counsel, National Gambling Impact Study Commission (1997)
- Legal Advisory Council, National Legal Center for the Public Interest
Presidential nomination: 1992
At the time of his nomination, Terwilliger was serving as "Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC. Prior to this, he served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont, 1986-1990; First Assistant U.S. Attorney for Vermont, 1986; and Assistant U.S. Attorney in Vermont, 1981-1986. From 1978 to 1981, Mr. Terwilliger served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
"Mr. Terwilliger graduated from Seton Hall University (B.A., 1973) and Antioch School of Law (J.D., 1978). He was born June 5, 1950, in New Brunswick, NJ. Mr. Terwilliger is married, has three children, and resides in Oakton, VA."
701 Thirteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202 626-3600
FAX: 202 639-9355
Related SourceWatch articles
- Attorney: George J. Terwilliger III, WhiteCase.com.
- Steering Committee: Terwilliger, HealthSystem.Virginia.edu.
- Lara Jakes Jordan, "Alberto Gonzales Hires Defense Attorney," Associated Press (WTOPNews.com), October 11, 2007.
- Judicial Issues Forum: "Politics and the Justice Department: Finding a Path to Accountability," Brookings Institution, April 10, 2007.
- "5 Top Contenders for Attorney General," NewsMax, August 28, 2007.
- Gonzales' resignation letter dated August 26, 2007, posted by TPMmuckraker, August 27, 2007.
- Pierre Thomas, et al., "Attorney General Gonzales Resigns," ABC News, August 27, 2007.
- "Gonzales Resigns," Think Progress, August 27, 2007.
- "Removal of the Bush administration,' PetitionOnline.com.
- Transcript: "Burden of Proof. Ronald Reagan's Legal Legacy," CNN, February 6, 2001.
- Note: Oliver North's conviction was overturned.
- Transcript: Saturday Morning News: "Florida Court Prepares for Historic Hearing," CNN, December 2, 2000.
- Russell Mokhiber, Excerpt: "Ari & I. White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer," June 19, 2001, posted by Common Dreams.
- Steve Bousquet, "GOP had election lawyers poised," St. Petersburg Times (Fla.), November 10, 2002.
- Frank Donatelli, "Reagan's Many Contributions Live On," Human Events Online, June 6, 2005.
- 527 Committees: Americans for a Better Country, OpenSecrets.org.
- Michael Isikoff, "Abramoff: More Trouble Ahead?" Newsweek/MSNBC, August 22, 2005.
- Neil A. Lewis, "Official Tipped Abramoff on Client's Case, Filing Says," New York Times, January 29, 2006.
- "Get off! Abramoff," Gandharv Ashram, undated.
- Profile: George Terwilliger, CNN, undated.
- "FACTBOX: Who replaces Gonzales? Bush has options," Reuters, August 28, 2007.
- Meeting of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, October 31, 1997.
- Nominations, Bush Library, February 14, 1992.
- George Lardner Jr. and Peter Slevin, "Military May Try Terrorism Cases. Bush Cites 'Emergency'," Washington Post (Freedom of Information Center), November 14, 2001.
- "Terror Tribunals," PBS Online NewsHour, November 14, 2001: "Gwen Ifill examines the debate over trying terrorists in military rather than civilian courts with George Terwilliger, former deputy attorney general for the first Bush administration, and Laura Murphy, director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union."
- Dan Eggen, "Reid Says Senators Would Block Olson. Choice for Attorney General Awaited," Washington Post, September 13, 2007.
- Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "Gonzales Hires a Top Gun. Still under investigation by Congress and Justice Department lawyers who once worked for him, the former attorney general has turned to a leading Washington attorney to help him beat the rap," Newsweek/MSNBC, October 10, 2007.
- "Gonzales lawyers up for investigations," Think Progress, October 10, 2007.
- Morgan Sandlin, "Gonzales Lawyers Up," The Daily Kos, October 10, 2007.
- Deep Harm, "Gonzales' defense attorney speaks," The Daily Kos, October 10, 2007.
- B Merryfield, "Defending Gonzales - lessons learned from Iran-Contra," The Daily Kos, October 11, 2007.
- George J. Terwilliger, NNDB.com.
- Robert Zelnick, "How
GoreBush Won Florida," Hoover Digest/Hoover Institution Publications, 2001. "Adapted from the new Hoover Press book Winning Florida: How the Bush Team Fought the Battle, by Robert Zelnick. Winning Florida: How the Bush Team Fought the Battle, by Robert Zelnick."