Jamie Gorelick

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Based in Washington, D.C., Jamie S. Gorelick (1950-) is an attorney who has held high and sometimes controversial responsibilities in both government and the private sector, identified as a Democrat. She serves on the boards of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


She was an early 2008 supporter of Hillary Clinton, although contributed to Barack Obama once his nomination was assured. She worked on the Presidential transition team, and trial balloons were floated about her as a possible U.S. Attorney General.[1]

Recent private practice of law

From Fannie Mae, she became a partner at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr. Among her clients were Duke University, defending it against claims related to rape claims against lacrosse players.


Between 1993 and 2003, she was vice chairwoman at Fannie Mae, the housing market mortgage lender, where she was paid a reported $25.6 million in salary and other compensation. In 2002, after the Enron scandal had broken, she told reporters that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were well regulated. [2] She predicted "a very, very strong 2002" and says Fannie and Freddie are "managed safely"

Slate mentioned she had no background in finance, but she has never been charged with wrongdoing, and Republicans, such as Robert Zoellick, were executives during the same timeframe. [3]

Terrorism and response

She was a member of the 9-11 Commission. As Deputy Attorney General in the Bill Clinton Administration, she ordered at least some of the rules creating a wall between intelligence investigation and criminal prosecution. Some, especially Republicans, have said that the rules may have prevented to correlation of information that could have caught some of the 9-11 team, and that she certainly should have recused herself from Commission examination of those concerns.

Andrew McCarthy, of theNational Review, said she should have resigned. She said that Attorney General John Ashcroft's testimony gave testimony that was "simply not true" when he claimed both that "the single greatest structural cause for September 11 was the wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents[,]" and that Gorelick "built that wall through a March 1995 memo.[4] McCarthy quotes her as saying "'I did not invent the "wall," which is not a wall but a set of procedures implementing a 1978 statute (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA) and federal court decisions interpreting it.' Gorelick did invent the wall. The wall was not a set of procedures implementing FISA as construed by federal decisional law. To quote Gorelick's 1995 memorandum (something she carefully avoids doing), the procedures her memorandum put in place '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.'" (Emphasis added by McCarthy)

Early and personal

Her undergraduate and law degrees are from Harvard. Active in the D.C. Bar and on women's rights, Legal Times called her one of the “greatest Washington lawyers” of the last 30 years.