WASHINGTON – President Bush has chosen Fred Fielding, formerly the top lawyer in the Reagan administration, to be his White House counsel.
The announcement will come today, according to a Bush administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the appointment had not been made.
Fielding will become Bush’s counsel just as Democrats in Congress plan deeper scrutiny of the administration. From the Iraq war to environmental policy and secret surveillance, the Democrats who now control both the House and Senate have subpoena power and ready to summon panels of witnesses.
Fielding, a longtime Washington lawyer, will replace Harriet Miers, Bush’s failed Supreme Court nominee and longtime adviser. She submitted her resignation Thursday after six years in the White House, and it will take effect Jan. 31.
Fielding served as President Reagan’s counsel from 1981 to 1986, when one of his assistants was John Roberts, now the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Under President Nixon, Fielding served as deputy White House counsel from 1972 to 1974 and associate counsel from 1970 to 1972.
More recently, he served on the bipartisan panel that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.