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Jeffress ’87 at Justice

We need to list all the Ephs appointed by President Obama. Let’s start with Amy Jeffress ’87.

Amy Jeffress, who has been National Security Section chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2007, has accepted an offer to join Holder’s staff as his national security adviser if he’s confirmed, according to two sources involved in the transition.

If confirmed, Holder and his staff will have to make a decision whether to order a criminal investigation of Bush administration officials who condoned the use of waterboarding on suspected terrorists. Holder declined to do so at the hearing, when asked by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

“No one is above the law,” Holder said, “and we will follow the evidence, the facts, the law, and let that take us where we should.” But the nominee said he didn’t want to “criminalize policy differences” that might exist between the incoming and outgoing administrations.

Since when does the Attorney General need his own National Security Adviser? Maybe EphBlog needs a National Security Adviser. Anyway, seems that many important topics will cross Jeffress’ desk in the next few years.

Interesting thoughts on the high and low of her career (as of 2006).

Amy Jeffress, 41

Deputy chief of the organized crime and narcotics trafficking section, U.S. Attorney’s Office

High: At the sentencing of a homicidal drug gang, “a mother whose son was killed by mistake — a 17-year-old going off to college who was killed in the middle of a drug beef — was the first to speak. She turned to the defendants and said: ‘I want you all to know I forgive you. I don’t want to keep hating you. I’ve given this to God.’ Her words were incredibly powerful, and I remember them often.”

Low:”I interviewed another mother of a homicide victim, who was shot when he was only 20. She said he had been getting in and out of trouble since the age of 13, and she had given up on him back then. Here I am trying to do justice by her son, and she had stopped caring. It left a pit in my stomach.”

With luck, there are more highs to come.

Note that Jeffress was president of College Council, back in the day when Ephs were Ephs and we did not go for namby-pamby co-presidents. There is hope for you yet, JeffZ!

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#1 Comment By jeffz On January 23, 2009 @ 6:26 am

Great appointment (I have never met her personally but I have interacted with her virtually and I’ve also heard great things). She is typical of the type of people Obama is appointing throughout his administration: impeccable intellectual credentials (of course — she’s an Eph! and Yale Law ain’t shabby either) wedded to an incredible depth of highly relevant experience (she has been doing this work at a supervisory level for years and years in D.C.).

Ummm, as for your question, really? I think the incredibly thorny national security legal issues faced by the incoming administration (Guantanamo, wiretapping, etc. etc.) are well-chronicled. Having someone with brains, integrity and experience focused on these issues can only help. The Presidential NSA is unlikely to be someone who is focused on these challenges from a LEGAL perspective. I assume there was someone in the Bush Admin with equivalent responsibilities (and if not, that is telling in and of itself).

#2 Comment By jeffz On January 23, 2009 @ 6:42 am

There is at least one more, not sure if he will become a permanent appointment:


On a different political note, how on God’s green earth did Ephblog miss, during election season, the fact that the founder of ACORN is a Williams College drop-out? Seems like the perfect jumping off point for a tangential rant from part of Ephblog’s vast right wing conspiracy, leading to an even lengthier impassioned response from Ephblog’s own ODS (Obama Defense Squad, of which I was a leading member …).

#3 Comment By nuts On January 23, 2009 @ 10:02 am

She prosecuted the Anthrax case, which they concluded was the sole act of Bruce Ivans, shortly after Bruce took his own life. National security cases are tricky because of the greymail defense and because lawyers need clearance for access to classified materials produced in discovery. This case never went to trial. You can try a dead man. I think she was in the US Attorneys office in DC at the time.

DOJ is a big mess, what with Rove’s op researchers put in in charge of career hiring and paying no heed to rules prohibiting political orientation in the hiring decisions of career positions. They need principled people like Amy to straighten the place out.

Her dad William defended “Germ Boy” Irving Scooter Libby and tried to keep him out of jail for perjury and obstruction in the CIA leak case (when OVP and others allegedly blew the cover of covert CIA agent Plame.) Rather than tell the truth, which would have put Cheney in Fitzgerald’s sight, Scooter took the bullet despite William’s best efforts and financing from the “free scooter crowd” (legal defense fund). Cheney’s still making noise about a pardon for Libby – Wednesday via Isakoff and Thursday without the cutout. I wonder if Scooter is ready to sing rather than spend the rest of his life as a felon. I bet Fitz would hear him out. He’s got his hands full with the Blago prosecution. If he gets a conviction for Blago, would this make IL Governor #3 for Fitz?

Does national security lawyer put Amy in the thick of it if DOJ finds itself prosecuting for torture? People forget Reagan negotiated an anti-torture treaty which Congress ratified that requires prosecution for torture and other human rights violations.