Timothy E. Flanigan

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Timothy Elliott Flanigan, nominated May 24, 2005, by President George W. Bush as Deputy Attorney General of the United States in the Department of Justice, withdrew his nomination on October 7, 2005.

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 once Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales' deputy in the White House and is currently general counsel, corporate and international law, for conglomerate Tyco International Ltd. [1][2]

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". [3]

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." [4]

"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." [5]

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.

Flanigan served as senior law clerk to the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger from 1985-1986. [6]
"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." [7]

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.

Flanigan, Tyco, and Jack Abramoff

Lobbyist's Lobbyist

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.'"

"Flanigan volunteered his legal services to the Bush-Cheney campaign during the Florida recount of 2000. [8]

"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 [2002] at the [University of Virginia] Law School."


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