Patrick F. Philbin

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Patrick F. Philbin is an American lawyer who served as a political appointee in the Department of Justice during the George W. Bush administration.[1]


Philbin holds a bachelor's degree from Yale University (1989), a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a diploma in legal studies from the University of Cambridge.[2]

Philbin wrote a note in the Harvard Law Review regarding the specialty requirement in the medieval action of covenant.


Philbin first served as a law clerk for the federal appeals judge, Laurence Silberman,[3] Next he worked as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.[4]

Philbin was appointed as Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel.[4]

Philbin is notable for being one of the lawyers who helped counsel President Bush that he, as head of the United States' Government's executive branch had the authority to charge Guantanamo captives before military commissions.[3][4][5]

According to James Comey, Philbin was present when he rushed to John Ashcroft's hospital bed to try to prevent other Bush officials from persuading the very sick Ashcroft to reverse the decision of the deputy acting as his replacement against renewing the controversial Warrantless wiretap program during the war on terror.[6] Comey said that Philbin's career suffered when he supported Comey in his efforts to intervene to prevent Gonzales from abusing Ashcroft.


  1. ^ "Profile: Patrick F. Philbin". Cooperative Research. Retrieved May 23, 2007. 
  2. ^ Kirkland and Ellis bio
  3. ^ a b Ruth Marcus (May 25, 2007). "The legal terror of executive power". Albany Times Union. Retrieved 2007-05-26. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c "The Interrogation Documents: Debating U.S. Policy and Methods". George Washington University. July 13, 2004. Retrieved May 23, 2007. 
  5. ^ Suspect legal opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel, implicating John Yoo
  6. ^ Joel Auchenbach (May 16, 2007). "Waterboarding Ashcroft". Washington Post. Retrieved May 23, 2007. 

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