First, hire all the lawyers

FIRST, HIRE ALL THE LAWYERS…. Late last week, U.S. News’ Paul Bedard noted that key congressional committees, in both chambers, have begun “hiring lawyer-investigators whose job will be to probe the administration.” This isn’t about witch-hunts, of course, it’s about oversight — Bedard quoted a Democratic leadership official who said that “the planned hearings and investigations into the war and other issues the lawyer-investigators are being hired to look into will be ‘very focused.'”

With this in mind, the Bush White House is probably doing the right thing by lawyering-up. (via Justin Rood)

President Bush is bracing for what could be an onslaught of investigations by the new Democratic-led Congress by hiring lawyers to fill key White House posts and preparing to play defense on countless document requests and possible subpoenas.

Bush is moving quickly to fill vacancies within his stable of lawyers, though White House officials say there are no plans to drastically expand the legal staff to deal with a flood of oversight. […]

[I]n the days after the elections, the White House announced that Bush had hired two replacements to plug holes in his counsel’s office, including one lawyer, Christopher G. Oprison, who is a specialist in handling white-collar investigations. A third hire was securities law specialist Paul R. Eckert, whose duties include dealing with the Office of the Special Counsel. Bush is in the process of hiring a fourth associate counsel, said Emily A. Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman.

Charles Black, a strategist with close ties to the White House, said the Bush gang isn’t panicking, just getting prepared. “They don’t think they have anything to hide,” Black said.

The Bush gang? Nothing to hide? Of all the talking points to offer, that’s the wrong one.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.