Fred F. Fielding

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Fred F. Fielding
File:Fred Fielding.jpg
19th and 32nd White House Counsel
In office
January 20, 1981 – May 23, 1986
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Lloyd Cutler
Succeeded by Peter J. Wallison
In office
January 8, 2007 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Harriet Miers
Succeeded by Greg Craig
Personal details
Born (1939-03-21) March 21, 1939 (age 83)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Maria Dugger
Alma mater Gettysburg College (B.A.)
University of Virginia (J.D.)
Profession Lawyer

Fred Fisher Fielding (born March 21, 1939) is an American lawyer, and held the office of White House Counsel for US Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Personal life

Fielding was born in Philadelphia and raised in Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania. Fielding attended Central Bucks High School West, graduated with honors from Gettysburg College, and then attended the University of Virginia School of Law.[1]

He married Maria Dugger on October 21, 1967. They have two children: Adam and Alexandra.[citation needed]


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]

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. He was the Counsel to the President for President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1986. Fielding has also served on the Tribunal on the U.S.-UK Air Treaty Dispute (1989–1994), as a member of the president's Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform (1989), as a member of the Secretary of Transportation's Task Force on Aviation Disasters (1997–1998) and as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9/11 Commission).

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.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

He was selected on January 8, 2007 by President George W. Bush to replace outgoing White House Counsel Harriet Miers.[9]

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." [10]

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.

Fielding is now a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the Law Firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and the vice chairman of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest[11][12]

Deep Throat connection

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.[13] 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.


  1. "Former White House Counsel Fred Fielding Returns to Morgan Lewis". Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-04-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. [1][dead link]
  3. Van Heuvelen, Ben (2007-10-02). "The Bush administration's ties to Blackwater". Retrieved 2008-01-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Broder, John M.; James Risen (2007-11-01). "Blackwater Mounts a Defense With Top Talent". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Scahill, Jeremy; Amy Goodman (2007-01-27). "Our Mercenaries in Iraq: Blackwater Inc and Bush's Undeclared Surge". Democracy Now. Retrieved 2008-10-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Broder, John M.; James Risen (2007-09-27). "Blackwater Tops Firms in Iraq in Shooting Rate". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Allen, Mike (January 8, 2007). "Exclusive: Bush Picks a Replacement for Harriet Miers". Time. Retrieved 2007-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Jim Rutenberg (2007-01-09). "Reagan Lawyer Ready to Return to White House". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Noah, Timothy (April 8, 2003). "Was Fred Fielding Deep Throat?". Slate. Retrieved 2007-01-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also

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