Goldman Sachs hires ex-Obama counsel Gregory Craig to fight SEC rap
Maybe it’s just me but it seems like it’s a little early in the Obama administration for things to be getting so Shakespearean.
To recap: Greg Craig helped President Clinton beat his impeachment rap for lying to investigators over his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. He gave an early endorsement to candidate Obama’s quest for the presidency, at which point he became effectively dead to the Clintons. And then he signed on as Obama’s White House Counsel, expressly with the mission of managing the closure of the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay. When that blew up in his face, he was forced out of the White House and back into private practice….so of course he’ll turn around approximately 6 months later and throw sand into Obama’s financial reform gears by going to work for Goldman Sachs as an adviser. Politico reports:
Goldman Sachs is launching an aggressive response to its political and legal challenges with an unlikely ally at its side — President Barack Obama’s former White House counsel, Gregory Craig.
The beleaguered Wall Street bank hired Craig — now in private practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom — in recent weeks to help in navigate the halls of power in Washington, a source familiar with the firm told POLITICO.
“He is clearly an attorney of eminence and has a deep understanding of the legal process and the world of Washington,” the source said. “And those are important worlds for everybody in finance right now.”
Obama and Democrats really are the team that can’t win. Republicans keep charging that they’re too friendly to Wall Street to really reform Wall Street. And now here’s evidence – Obama’s former top legal adviser goes to work for Goldman Sachs as it faces down the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fraud allegations.
That Obama couldn’t personally ask that Craig step away from Goldman’s request is a sign of how deep the breach was between the two upon the latter’s ouster. Unless, of course, Obama doesn’t want to confront Goldman that seriously. In which case this is perfect.
But if the real effort here is to be GS’s get out of jail free card, all I can say is that I hope that that Craig has as much success protecting Goldman from government investigation and prosecution as he did forging an effective plan for closing Gitmo.