Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
White House Counsel
The White House Counsel is a staff appointee of the President of the United States. The Counsel's role is to advise the President on all legal issues concerning the President and the White House. The current White House Counsel is Harriet Miers, who was tapped to fill the post when President George W. Bush nominated her predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, to the post of Attorney General.
The Office of Counsel to the President is responsible for advising on all legal aspects of policy questions, legal issues arising in connection with the President's decision to sign or veto legislation, ethical questions, financial disclosures, conflicts of interest during employment and post employment, and defines lines between official and political activities. The Counsel's Office also oversees executive appointments and judicial selection, handles Presidential pardons, reviews legislation and Presidential statements, and handles lawsuits against the President in his role as President, as well as serving as the White House contact for the Department of Justice.
Although the White House Counsel offers legal advice to the President, the Counsel does so in the President's official capacity, and does not serve as the President's personal attorney. Therefore the Counsel does not share attorney-client privilege with the President, and so in personal matters, such as impeachment proceedings, the President relies on a personal attorney for confidential legal advice.
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