Fred F. Fielding

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Fred Fielding
Fred Fielding.jpg
White House Counsel
In office
January 31, 2007 – January 20, 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byHarriet Miers
Succeeded byGreg Craig
In office
January 20, 1981 – May 23, 1986
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byLloyd Cutler
Succeeded byPeter Wallison
Personal details
Born (1939-03-21) March 21, 1939 (age 81)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Maria Dugger
EducationGettysburg College (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)

Fred Fisher Fielding (born March 21, 1939) is an American lawyer. He held the office of White House Counsel for US Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush in addition to serving as an Associate and Deputy White House Counsel for Richard Nixon under John Dean. Fielding was also of counsel to the presidential transition of Donald Trump.

Personal life[edit]

Fielding was born in Philadelphia and raised in Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania. He attended Central Bucks High School West, graduated cum laude from Gettysburg College in 1961, and received his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1964.[1]

He married Maria Dugger and had two children, Adam and Alexandra.[2]


Law firms[edit]

Fielding was a senior partner at Wiley Rein LLP (formerly Wiley Rein & Fielding), a Washington, D.C. law firm. He has served the American government in a number of roles throughout his career.[citation needed]

In 2009, Fielding joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP as a partner in the firm's Washington office.[3][4]

Fielding is the vice chairman of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest[5]

Presidential administrations[edit]

Richard Nixon[edit]

Fielding served as Associate Counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1970 to 1972, where he was the deputy to John Dean during the Watergate scandal.

Deep Throat connection[edit]

In April 2003, a team of journalism students taught by William Gaines conducted a detailed review of source materials, leading them to conclude that Fielding was Deep Throat, the unnamed source for articles written by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.[6] Many years previously, former White House Chief of Staff for Richard Nixon, H. R. Haldeman, also concluded that Fielding was Deep Throat.[citation needed] That speculation ended after former top Federal Bureau of Investigation official W. Mark Felt announced in May 2005 that he was the mysterious Watergate informant, as later confirmed by Woodward, Bernstein and Executive Editor Ben Bradlee in a statement released through The Washington Post.

Ronald Reagan[edit]

He was the Counsel to the President for President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1986.

George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton[edit]

Fielding served on the Tribunal on the U.S.-UK Air Treaty Dispute (1989–1994), George H.W. Bush's Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform (1989) and Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater's Task Force on Aviation Disasters (1997–1998).

George W. Bush[edit]

He was selected on January 8, 2007 by President George W. Bush to replace outgoing White House Counsel Harriet Miers.[7] Fielding was responsible for approving the pardon issued by President Bush to convicted real estate fraudster Isaac Toussie. When the New York Daily News reported that Toussie had made large contributions to the Republican Party, the White House revoked the pardon the next day.[citation needed]

Dick Cheney[edit]

Fielding has reportedly maintained close ties to Vice President Dick Cheney, whom he has known for decades and occasionally served as an informal adviser. However, according to Time magazine in July 2009, Fielding opposed Cheney's request that President Bush issue a full pardon to convicted vice presidential aide Scooter Libby. Following Fielding's advice, Bush ended up not pardoning Libby. J. Michael Luttig, a former federal judge who worked with Fielding in the Reagan Administration and remains close to Fielding, said: "He has a firm, clear view of executive prerogative, but he also understands as well as anyone in Washington the constitutional need for compromise. He is not someone that takes an absolutist position and then drives the presidency and the branches together off the brink. He has judgment." [8]

9/11 Commission[edit]

In 2002 Fielding became one of ten bipartisan members of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9/11 Commission).

Blackwater counsel[edit]

In 2007 he represented, along with a great many others, Blackwater Worldwide, a private military company. Following the Blackwater Baghdad shootings, Henry Waxman's House Oversight Committee subpoenaed its Chief Executive Officer Erik Prince to testify. The climate of opinion among politicians and the public at large jeopardized its contracts to provide security for State Department personnel in Iraq. He also represented the firm in Helvenston et al. v. Blackwater Security, a lawsuit arising from the 31 March 2004 Fallujah ambush.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

Donald Trump[edit]

Fielding serves on president-elect Donald Trump's legal team.[15] Fielding's work for Trump was announced by his Morgan, Lewis colleague, Sheri Dillon, when she spoke at Trump's January 11, 2017, a day after a leaked document alleged the Trump campaign's long suspected collusion with Russian efforts to derail his presidential campaign competitor Hillary Clinton.


Fielding has published legal articles on the topics of presidential counsel and Russia and Ukraine matters in his role at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. The firm was named 2016 Russia Law Firm of the Year by Chambers and Partners [16] The awards are based on research and, "substantial feedback from clients." The firm's Moscow office has won previous honors for its high-profile work in Russia. Including a Tier 1 rank from The Legal 500 EMEA for Corporate/M&A Law Firm, Russia[17] and a rank in Bank 1 from Chambers Global for Energy & Natural Resources Law Firm, Russia.[18][19][20]


  1. ^ "Former White House Counsel Fred Fielding Returns to Morgan Lewis". Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. 2009-04-09. Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  2. ^ Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration. 1981.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Noah, Timothy (April 8, 2003). "Was Fred Fielding Deep Throat?". Slate. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
  7. ^ Allen, Mike (January 8, 2007). "Exclusive: Bush Picks a Replacement for Harriet Miers". Time. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  8. ^ Jim Rutenberg (2007-01-09). "Reagan Lawyer Ready to Return to White House". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  9. ^ Van Heuvelen, Ben (2007-10-02). "The Bush administration's ties to Blackwater". Archived from the original on 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
  10. ^ Neff, Joseph (2008-03-11). "Blackwater faces more scrutiny". News and Observer. Raleigh, North Carolina: The McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-01-20. Fred Fielding is now White House counsel for President Bush, but in 2005 he represented Blackwater in a lawsuit filed by the families of four Blackwater workers killed in a massacre in Fallujah in 2004.
  11. ^ Waxman, Henry A. (2008-03-10). "Employment Practices of Blackwater Worldwide" (PDF). Memorandum to Members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
  12. ^ Broder, John M.; James Risen (2007-11-01). "Blackwater Mounts a Defense With Top Talent". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
  13. ^ Scahill, Jeremy; Amy Goodman (2007-01-27). "Our Mercenaries in Iraq: Blackwater Inc and Bush's Undeclared Surge". Democracy Now. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  14. ^ Broder, John M.; James Risen (2007-09-27). "Blackwater Tops Firms in Iraq in Shooting Rate". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
  15. ^
  16. ^ 2016 Chambers Europe guide as Russia Law Firm of the Year.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Lloyd Cutler
White House Counsel
Succeeded by
Peter Wallison
Preceded by
Harriet Miers
White House Counsel
Succeeded by
Greg Craig