The Decision Makers: Justice Department

The Justice Department provides the means for enforcing federal laws and furnishes legal counsel in federal cases. The department provides legal advice to the president, investigates federal crimes, and represents the executive branch in court. The department also operates federal prisons; oversees the Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI; and coordinates the work of the U.S. attorneys.

Alberto R. Gonzales
Attorney General
202-514-2001
Gonzales differs from John Ashcroft, his lightning-rod predecessor, more in style than substance. But style matters in Washington. As White House counsel during Bush's first term, Gonzales was a key architect of post-9/11 policies, and he spent much of his January confirmation hearing parrying questions about his role in designing U.S. interrogation methods. He vigorously denied that his advice encouraged abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, and the Senate went on to confirm him by a 60-36 vote.

Since then, members of Congress have largely dropped the interrogation issue with him and have gone on to praise his lower-key style. Good relations with the Hill are critical now, as Gonzales noted in an interview, because efforts to reauthorize the USA PATRIOT Act are at "a critical juncture." He has crisscrossed the country to build support for the anti-terrorism law.

Gonzales recently persuaded the president to spend time talking up the PATRIOT Act, but he concedes he doesn't have the same sort of relationship with the president he once had. "I don't see him as often. It's not like I can go down to the Oval Office like I used to and raise issues with him or chat about how things are going," Gonzales says. "It's a little bit different, and I miss that."

Gonzales, 50, has spent much of his career working with Bush. A native of Humble, Texas, he was the first person in his family to go to college. After graduating from Rice University, he earned his law degree at Harvard. He did a stint in private practice, and then climbed the ladder within the state government, rising to the Texas Supreme Court.

Timothy Flanigan
Deputy Attorney General (designate)
202-514-2101

If Flanigan is confirmed as the No. 2 at Justice, it will be his second time as Gonzales's deputy. Flanigan, 51, was White House deputy counsel from 2001 to 2002 when Gonzales was counsel to the president. He helped Gonzales and the administration craft major national security initiatives after 9/11. Although much of Flanigan's career has been in the private sector, this is his second go-round at Justice. The native Virginian was assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel from 1992 to 1993 under the first President Bush. William Barr, who was attorney general at that time and is now executive vice president and general counsel at Verizon, calls Flanigan "affable" with "an excellent legal mind" and "a good feel for the department." Flanigan, who has a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from the University of Virginia, currently serves as senior vice president and counsel of corporate and international law at Tyco International. "He has no prosecutorial experience," says a Senate Democratic aide. But Flanigan's stint at Tyco, a company that has recently faced serious ethics scandals, has prepared him well for managing a large agency focused on law enforcement. At Tyco since 2002, Flanigan has been responsible for overseeing new ethics compliance policies. And as the father of 14 children, Flanigan is familiar with the role of shepherd.

Robert D. McCallum Jr.
Associate Attorney General
202-514-9500

McCallum's duties encompass five general areas of litigation: antitrust, civil, civil rights, environment and natural resources, and taxes. His office also defines policy in areas such as violence against women and oversees federal grants for programs like Community Oriented Policing Services. McCallum, 59, calls himself "a dinosaur" of the legal profession because he did not specialize in one area of law, as many attorneys do today. Instead, he came to the department in 2001 from the Alston & Bird law firm in Atlanta with 30 years of litigation experience, ranging from insurance class actions and medical malpractice cases to real estate and contract disputes. "He brings terrific litigation judgment, which is essential in his position," said one of McCallum's former deputies in the Civil Division, where he served as assistant attorney general before being elevated to his current post. A native of Memphis, Tenn., and a Rhodes scholar from Oxford University, McCallum earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University, where he was a classmate of George W. Bush's and a fellow member of the Skull and Bones secret society.

Peter Keisler
Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division
202-514-3301

Keisler, 44, a seasoned litigator and partner at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood before joining the Civil Division in 2003, said there's "nothing at all like litigating when your client is the United States." Lawyers in his division handle a vast array of cases, from defending challenges to presidential initiatives to litigating tort claims and enforcing consumer-protection laws. Keisler has even argued several cases personally. His successful defense of the constitutionality of the "do not call" program that enables folks to avoid telemarketers earned him plenty of goodwill from friends. A native of Woodmere, N.Y., Keisler graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School. He clerked from 1985 to '86 for Robert Bork, then a judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and later for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He served in the Office of Counsel to the president from 1986 to 1988. Before assuming his current post, Keisler was principal deputy associate attorney general and acting associate attorney general.

Alice Fisher
Assistant Attorney General (designate), Criminal Division
202-514-7200

Fisher is an alum of the small team at Justice that worked through the night in the aftermath of 9/11. As deputy assistant attorney general of the Criminal Division at the time, her focus was investigating and prosecuting those involved with the attacks and other Al-Qaeda sympathizers. The criminal provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act were among her first post-9/11 projects. She was also in charge of tracking corporate fraud in cases such as the Enron investigation. Fisher left DOJ in 2003 to return to Latham & Watkins, a Washington-based law firm, where she was a partner. Since then, she's been specializing in white-collar crime and advising clients on terrorism issues. Fisher knows the Criminal Division inside out. Described by a former colleague as the "right-hand appendage" of then-Criminal Division chief Michael Chertoff, she earned a reputation for her smarts and her tendency to reach out to other agencies. "She's incredibly dedicated, has great judgment, and is a very hard worker," says Chertoff, and, he adds, "she has a great sense of humor." Fisher also worked with Chertoff at Latham & Watkins and on the Whitewater investigation, for which she was deputy special counsel to the Senate investigatory committee. Fisher, 38, grew up in Lexington, Ky., and went on to Vanderbilt University and later Catholic University School of Law.

Regina B. Schofield
Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs
202-307-5933

The 43-year-old Mississippi native joins Justice with a wide range of Washington experience. Nominated in March, she most recently was director of intergovernmental affairs at Health and Human Services, where she advised officials on state and local perspectives on agency policies. Schofield has also served as head of the agency's Office of White House Liaison. Before joining HHS, she was the manager of government relations at the U.S. Postal Service, as well as the manager of environmental issues for the International Council of Shopping Centers. During the George H.W. Bush administration, Schofield worked as the deputy director of the Education Department's Office of White House Liaison. A graduate of Mississippi College, Schofield earned an M.B.A. from Jackson State University. In her new position, she will lead Justice's efforts to prevent and control crime, as well as improve the criminal and juvenile justice programs.

William Emil Moschella
Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs
202-514-2141

Unlike many of his legislative affairs counterparts in the administration, Moschella had no background in lobbying when he was named to his position. But he says his lack of target practice was made up for by 13 years on the Hill getting to know the target. "I've worked as an intern, all the way up to one of the top jobs in the [House] Judiciary Committee," he said. "I think I've got a very good understanding of what a day in the life of a member of Congress is like, and the needs of the Hill." Other than lobbying, his duties at Justice include preparing witnesses for testimony at congressional hearings, particularly the numerous sessions related to the PATRIOT Act's reauthorization; dealing with oversight requests; and herding cats. "You may have a piece of legislation relating to violent crimes, for example, and the FBI, DEA, ATF, the Criminal Division, and the U.S. attorneys may all have a slightly different take on how to best address the problem," he notes. Moschella, 37, was reared and educated in Virginia. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and his law degree at George Mason University.

Rachel Brand
Assistant Attorney General (designate), Office of Legal Policy
202-514-4601

"For such a young age, Rachel has remarkable accomplishments," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, at Brand's nomination hearing in May to head the office that assists the attorney general and the president in filling judicial vacancies. At 32, Brand already has a career that includes a stint as part of Bush's legal team during the 2000 presidential vote recount in Florida; a job as White House associate counsel; and a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Brand, who grew up in Iowa and interned for Grassley, has a broad portfolio at Justice. Her office develops and interprets the department's legal policy in areas ranging from crime victims' rights to the USA PATRIOT Act. "It can be a challenge to juggle the many important issues we work on," says Brand, whose shop includes about 20 lawyers. Tim Flanigan, Bush's nominee for deputy attorney general, knows Brand from the Florida recount days and the White House, and calls her "tireless." Flanigan says he "can't think of anyone who is more balanced or politically sensitive" to oversee the department's judicial selection process. Brand has a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and earned a law degree at Harvard University.

Eileen O'Connor
Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division
202-514-2901

The past few years have seen the "reinvigoration" of tax enforcement, according to O'Connor, who said her office has expanded its ties with the IRS. The 55-year-old Philadelphia native is a graduate of Columbus State University, earned her law degree at Catholic University, and worked in tax law for more than 30 years before joining the Bush administration in July 2001. O'Connor previously served as a corporate tax specialist at the IRS, as well as a national tax consultant with major accounting firms. She has been an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Mason University Law School. O'Connor is a member of the president's Corporate Fraud Task Force. Her office has placed a particularly high priority on tax scam operators and has begun seeking civil injunctions against them, rather than waiting for lengthy criminal investigations to be completed.

Robert Mueller
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
202-324-3000

After taking office on September 4, 2001, Mueller barely had a chance to catch his breath before he was forced to contend with one of the steepest law-enforcement challenges in the nation's history. The September 11 attacks resulted in a major overhaul of FBI priorities, including a greater focus on criminal connections overseas and increased monitoring of computer transactions. "Once America was attacked, [the FBI] needed to change overnight," Mueller said recently. "Probably at no time in history has the FBI changed on such a large scale as in the past three and a half years." As it turns out, Mueller's background suited him well for the task. He has held law-enforcement posts in Republican and Democratic administrations, including one as the Clinton-nominated U.S. attorney in San Francisco. He also did stints as a partner with two Boston-based law firms and served as a Marine officer in Vietnam. Mueller, 60, grew up outside of Philadelphia, went to prep school with John Kerry, and graduated from Princeton and the University of Virginia Law School. Although he has retained bipartisan support and has avoided much controversy, he faces continuing challenges in upgrading internal FBI operations. Critics have raised questions about the agency's reorganization, particularly after it recently scrapped a modern computer software system and announced a new plan. By law, Mueller serves a 10-year term.

Tasia Scolinos
Director, Public Affairs
202-514-2007

Scolinos, 33, was well prepared for her job after tours in other high-level public-affairs posts, where she was a go-to person for reporters seeking information on counterterrorism. Scolinos came to Washington in 2001 to be a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, where her portfolio included law enforcement issues. Upon the creation of the Homeland Security Department after 9/11, she joined the transition team and became deputy assistant secretary for public affairs and senior director of communications in January 2003. As director of a well-established office at Justice, Scolinos said the challenges are far different from those at DHS, where she helped assemble a team from scratch. A native of Arcadia, Calif., Scolinos graduated from Claremont McKenna College. Before earning a law degree from Georgetown University, she was an assistant to Judge Lance Ito during the O.J. Simpson trial. She did litigation work from 1999-2001, a period in which she made some "talking head" media appearances to boost George Bush's presidential campaign.

Benigno Reyna
Director, U.S. Marshals Service
202-307-9065

After 25 years in Texas law enforcement, Reyna retired in May 2001, only to receive a phone call one week later from the White House asking if he would be interested in serving in the new administration. His confirmation hearing had been set for mid-September when 9/11 happened. Days after the attacks, Reyna went before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In December 2001, he took over the oldest federal law enforcement agency, where he oversees a staff of more than 4,000 employees. "I think public service is in my heart," Reyna has said. "Starting in the fourth grade, I was a school safety patrol boy." The son of Mexican immigrants, Reyna received a B.S. in criminal justice from the University of Texas-Pan American, where he participated in a federally funded police cadet program. He began his law enforcement career in 1976 with the police department in Brownsville, Texas, where he grew up. In 1997, after serving for six years as chief of police, Reyna was appointed to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education by then-Gov. Bush. In 2000, he became the commission's presiding officer.

Karen Tandy
Administrator, Drug Enforcement Agency
202-307-7977

According to Tom Riley, the spokesman at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Tandy "doesn't see drugs as an abstract issue, but as a real problem. She is clear every time she talks about it." As a parent and as a professional, Tandy has an ability to connect "law enforcement effectively to citizens' real concerns about drugs," Riley added. Tandy oversees the work of drug enforcement special agents in the United States and abroad. Her focus is trying to dismantle the financial infrastructure that fuels the drug trade. Before becoming DEA administrator in 2003, Tandy, 51, was associate deputy attorney general and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. She has also held several positions in the DOJ Criminal Division. Tandy is a Fort Worth native who received her undergraduate and law degrees from Texas Tech. Bill Alden, president of the DEA's Museum Foundation, calls her a "very personable" woman of a "fiery nature," and says she's a leader "by example" who is "not afraid to roll up her own sleeves to do whatever is necessary."

Theodore Ullyot
Chief of Staff
202-514-2001

Ullyot, 38, joined Justice after Gonzales took office earlier this year. He previously served at the White House as deputy assistant to the president and deputy staff secretary, and earlier as an associate counsel to the president. Ullyot said his White House work eased the transition to Justice; because of it he was familiar with department officials. The San Francisco native knew Gonzales for about two years before joining Justice. He says his main responsibility is ensuring that the attorney general is "hearing from the right people." A graduate of Harvard College, Ullyot earned his law degree at the University of Chicago. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia during the 1995-96 term and for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1994-95. Before joining the administration, Ullyot was senior vice president and general counsel at AOL Time Warner and was an associate and then partner at Kirkland & Ellis.

Paul Clement
Solicitor General
202-514-2201

Like many other Justice Department officials in the Bush administration, Clement has been among the conservative firebrands of the Federalist Society. But unlike some others, he has maintained positive relationships with congressional Democrats. "Paul is regarded as a truly outstanding oral advocate, one of the best in the country today," Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said in introducing him to the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing in April. The senator was especially appreciative of Clement's successful Supreme Court advocacy of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign reform law. Clement, 39, is also connected with Feingold because he grew up in a Milwaukee suburb and later worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee as an aide to then-Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo. He graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and Harvard Law School, clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and worked in two prominent Washington law firms. That background is useful for his position as the federal government's chief litigator before the Supreme Court, where he has handled many controversial issues, including terrorism cases. Even at his young age, Clement has been mentioned as a contender for a high-level federal judgeship. "He's a warm and open-minded individual who listens to others," said Democratic legal scholar Walter Dellinger.

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