What Did Obama Know? Three Top Officials Left Admin for Law Firm that Retained Fusion GPS for Anti-Trump Russian Dossier

Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, has a question about the breaking news that Perkins Coie, the law firm for the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, retained Fusion GPS on behalf of their clients for the anti-Trump Russian dossier that has fueled unproven charges President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the presidential election: “Who in Obama WH political operation knew about DNC/Hillary Clinton funding of @RealDonaldTrump Russian dossier? Did Barack Obama?”

As it turns out, three senior Obama administration officials, including two who worked side by side with President Barack Obama in the White House, left the administration to go to work at Perkins Coie and still work there.

Obama White House Counsel Robert (Bob) Bauer served from January 3, 2010 until June 30, 2011 when he left for Perkins Coie where he is a partner. Bauer is married to former Obama official Anita Dunn who served as White House Communications Director.

Bob Bauer and Anita Dunn, image via MaggiesNotebook.

Wikipedia’s bio of Bauer shows he has close, long-standing ties to Obama and the DNC, including representing the DNC after he left the White House. Obama said upon Bauer’s resignation, “he will continue to be one of my close advisers.”

He is a partner at Perkins Coie. In November 2009, he was named to be the next White House Counsel,[2] upon the resignation of Gregory Craig.[3] Bauer was President Obama’s personal attorney and the general counsel of the Obama for America presidential campaign prior to his appointment as White House Counsel. He has also previously served as the general counsel to the Democratic National Committee,[4] and had advised President Obama since Mr. Obama came to Washington, D.C. in 2005 as U. S. Senator.[5]

As general counsel for the 2008 campaign, Bauer asked the Justice Department to investigate the officers and donors of American Issues Project after it ran a negative ad about Obama.[6]

On Thursday, June 2, 2011, the White House Press Office stated that Bauer would be returning to private practice at Perkins Coie, and that Principal Deputy Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler (his deputy, in that office since January 2010 and before that since January 2009 as Principal Associate Deputy U.S. Attorney General) would succeed him. The position, because it is part of the Executive Office staff that personally advises the President and is not an agency or Cabinet department or military head, does not require Senate confirmation despite the prominence of the office.

Bauer returned to private practice to again represent the president’s election team and the Democratic National Committee. “Bob was a critical member of the White House team,” Mr. Obama said. “He has exceptional judgment, wisdom and intellect, and he will continue to be one of my close advisers.”

Bauer reportedly subsequently recruited two fellow senior Obama officials to work at Perkins Coie in 2014. Both still work there.

Another close Obama advisor, Pete Rouse, left the White House for Perkins Coie after serving as Counselor and Chief of Staff to Obama. Rouse is currently a Senior Policy Advisor and Firmwide Co-Chair, Public and Strategic Affairs Group for Perkins Coie.

Mark Patterson, a Rouse protege, was Chief of Staff at the Treasury Department for two successive secretaries. He is now a partner and Firmwide Co-Chair, Public and Strategic Affairs Group at Perkins Coie.

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty reported in 2014 on Rouse and Patterson leaving Obama for Perkins Coie.

Peter M. Rouse, the former White House official who was President Obama’s longest-serving top aide, has landed in the private sector.

Next month, Rouse and Mark A. Patterson, who was chief of staff to the last two Treasury secretaries, will join Perkins Coie LLP, where the two will set up what the law firm is describing as a new public and strategic affairs practice.

They were recruited by longtime Perkins Coie partner Robert Bauer, who was White House counsel to Obama from December 2009 to July 2011.

Associates said that Rouse and Patterson will not engage in lobbying and noted that Perkins Coie does not have a lobbying operation.

Instead, they will provide advice to the firm’s clients on how to navigate complex problems involving the government, public relations and the legal process.

Rouse was one of the first Obama hires in Washington after Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois in 2004.

…Though Rouse, 67, had long talked about moving on from the White House, Obama persuaded him to stay. He finally left at the end of last year.

Patterson, 52, was one of Rouse’s many Capitol Hill proteges, going back to their time working for Daschle.

He joined the Treasury Department in 2009, as chief of staff to then-Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, and remained there through the early months of Jack Lew’s tenure as Geithner’s successor.”

Tick tock, tick tock.

(Disclosure, this writer worked at Judicial Watch from 1999-2004)

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