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Jamie Gorelick, ca. 2004
Jamie S. Gorelick ( ; born May 6, 1950) is an Americanmarker attorney and judicial officer who was Deputy Attorney General of the United States during the Clinton administration. She was appointed by former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle to serve as a commissioner on the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which sought to investigate the circumstances leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.


Gorelick grew up in Great Neckmarker, New Yorkmarker where she attended South High School.[64476] She obtained her B.A. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Universitymarker in 1972, where she was designated Radcliffe Orator, and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) (cum laude) from Harvard Law Schoolmarker in 1975.

Gorelick joined the Washington, D.C.marker law firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca and Lewin in 1975 and worked for them as a litigator until 1993, except for 1979 to 1980 when she was an assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. Gorelick was president of the District of Columbia Bar from 1992 to 1993.

Under the Clinton administration, Gorelick served as general counsel of the Department of Defensemarker from 1993 to 1994, when she was appointed Deputy Attorney General of the United States, the No. 2 position in the Department of Justicemarker. Gorelick served as Vice Chairman of the Federal National Mortgage Association from 1997 to 2003.

She is currently a law partner in the Washington office of WilmerHale and a member of the boards of United Technologies Corporation, Schlumberger, Ltd., the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Legal Affairs.

Deputy Attorney General

While serving as Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton, Gorelick spoke in favor of banning the use of strong encryption and called for a key escrow system to allow the Federal government access to encrypted communication. [64477]

Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)

Even though she had no previous training nor experience in finance, Gorelick was appointed Vice Chairman of Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) from 1997 to 2003. She served alongside former Clinton Administration official Franklin Raines. During that period, Fannie Mae developed a $10 billion accounting scandal.

On March 25, 2002, Business Week interviewed Gorelick about the health of Fannie Mae. Gorelick is quoted as saying, "We believe we are managed safely. We are very pleased that Moody's gave us an A-minus in the area of bank financial strength -- without a reference to the government in any way. Fannie Mae is among the handful of top-quality institutions." One year later, Government Regulators "accused Fannie Mae of improper accounting to the tune of $9 billion in unrecorded losses".

In an additional scandal concerning falsified financial transactions that helped the company meet earnings targets for 1998, a "manipulation" that triggered multimillion-dollar bonuses for top executives, Gorelick received $779,625.

Investigation by the OFHEO detailed in their official report on the accounting scandal in 2006 on page 66 that from 1998 to 2002 Gorelick received a total of $26,466,834.00 in income.

9/11 Commission

According to Gorelick's op-ed letter in the Washington Post she states that: "At last week's hearing, Attorney General John Ashcroft, facing criticism, asserted that 'the single greatest structural cause for September 11 was the wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents' and that I built that wall through a March 1995 memo." See original memo: [64478]. However, the report from the 9/11 Commission, co-authored by Gorelick, asserts that the 'wall' limiting the ability of federal agencies to cooperate had existed since the 80's and is in fact not one singular wall but a series of restrictions passed over the course of over twenty years.

Conflict of Interest

A 1995 Department of Justice memorandum states that the procedures her memorandum put in place, for the investigation of the first WTC bombing "go beyond what is legally required...[to] prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation." The wall intentionally exceeded the requirements of FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) for the purposes of criminal investigations, and the then-existing federal case law. These rules were, shortly after their creation, expanded to regulate such communications in future counter-terrorism investigations.

Ms. Gorelick eventually recused herself from reviewing her own role in the regulation of information about terrorist activities. Attorney General Ashcroft was incensed before the 9/11 commission to learn that the commission had not investigated or been told of Gorelick's memo or her role regarding the "wall". This assertion was disputed by former senator Slade Gorton (R-WA), a member of the 9/11 Commission, who said, "nothing Jamie Gorelick wrote had the slightest impact on the Department of Defense or its willingness or ability to share intelligence information with other intelligence agencies." Gorton also asserted that "the wall" was a long-standing policy that had resulted from the Church committee in the 1970s, and that the policy only prohibits transfer of certain information from prosecutors to the intelligence services and never prohibited information flowing in the opposite direction.

However, the "Gorelick Wall" barred anti-terror investigators from accessing the computer of Zacarias Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker, already in custody on an immigration violation. "During the time of Ms. Gorelick's 1995 memo, the issue causing the most tension between the Reno-Gorelick Justice Department and Director Freeh's FBI was not counterterrorism but widely reported allegations of contributions to the Clinton-Gore campaign from foreign sources, involving the likes of John Huang and Charlie Trie." Mr. Trie later told investigators that between 1994 and 1996 he raised some $1.2 million, much of it from foreign sources, whose identities were hidden by straw donors.

Testifying before the commission, Attorney General John Ashcroft said, "Although you understand the debilitating impact of the wall, I cannot imagine that the commission knew about this memorandum, so I have declassified it for you and the public to review," he said. "Full disclosure compels me to inform you that its author is a member of this commission."

Lawyer for Duke University

Gorelick was added in February 2006 to Duke Universitymarker's defense team after the 2006 Duke University lacrosse casemarker scandal. The University faces claims by unaccused members of the team that they "railroaded 47 Duke University students as either principals or accomplices."

Charitable Work and Community Involvement

Gorelick has served on the boards of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Urban Institute, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

External links


  1. Gorelick biography from United Technologies Corporation
  2. False Signatures Aided Fannie Mae Bonuses, Falcon Says
  3. Friends of Barack -
  4. BW Online | March 25, 2002 | Q&A with Fannie Mae's Jamie Gorelick
  5. The Trouble With Fannie Mae (
  6. False Signatures Aided Fannie Mae Bonuses, Falcon Says (
  7. The truth about the wall
  8.|Slade Gorton - letter to the Editor of the Washington Times August 18, 2005
  9. The Wall Street Journal Online - Featured Article
  10. August 18, 2005, letter to the editor in The Washington Times. Retrieved July 3, 2007 from Yahoo Cache.
  11. Duke Adds to Legal Team in Lacrosse Lawsuit Fight ::
  12. Gorelick biography from Wilmer Hale

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