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Alice S. Fisher (born January 27, 1967) is an American lawyer and Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP.[1] Fisher served as Deputy United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division from 2001 to 2003[2] and as an Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice Criminal Division [3][4][5] for three years, from 2005 to May 23, 2008.[6]

Alice Fisher
Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher.jpg
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division
In office
August 31, 2005 – May 23, 2008
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byChristopher Wray
Succeeded byLanny Breuer
United States Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division
In office
2001–2003
Personal details
Born (1967-01-27) January 27, 1967 (age 52)
Political partyRepublican
EducationVanderbilt University (BA (1989)
Catholic University (JD 1992)

In 2010 Fisher was recognized as one of "Washington’s Most Influential Women Lawyers" by the National Law Journal [7][8] and was rated among the top 45 lawyers nationally by The American Lawyer in 2011.[9]

On May 13, 2017, Fisher was interviewed for the post of FBI Director following the dismissal of James Comey by President Donald Trump.[10][11]

EducationEdit

From 1985 to 1989 Fisher studied at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where she completed her bachelor's degree. In 1989, she began her studies at the Columbus School of Law (CUA Law) The Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. where she earned her J.D. in 1992.[12][12][13]

Early careerEdit

According to statements at her May 12, 2005 AAG nomination hearing, Fisher graduated from law school in 1992 and then worked for "several years as an associate at Sullivan and Cromwell". Her clients included "corporations in civil litigation". She also represented an inmate on death row in a "habeas corpus appeal".[14][12]

From 2001 to 2003, during the tenure of Michael Chertoff—then-United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division—who became her "longtime" mentor,[15][Notes 1][15] Fisher was Deputy United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.[2][16][17] By 2005 she had become a partner in Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C..[18]

Latham & WatkinsEdit

By 2005, Fisher was a partner at the law firm of Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C..[18] Fisher specializes in "white collar criminal investigations, internal investigations and advising clients on a range of criminal matters",[19] including: international criminal matters relating to alleged bribery under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and similar foreign laws; economic sanction and export control issues; and criminal matters such as healthcare fraud, accounting and securities fraud and procurement fraud.[19]

Fisher represents clients in front of the US Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States Congress and handles complex civil litigation, often parallel to ongoing criminal investigations. She focuses her practice on corporate investigations and enforcement matters and provides strategic counsel to corporations on managing the legal risks of operating in a global economy. She currently serves as Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office and is “one of only a handful of women who head offices of major international law firms." Fisher previously served as global co-chair of the firm's white-collar and government investigations practice group.[20][21]

Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal DivisionEdit

 
Fisher with Dick Cheney in 2003

From 2001 to 2003, Fisher was Deputy United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.[2]

Fisher served as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for three years—from 2005 until she resigned in May 23, 2008,[22][6][23][2] She served as an Assistant Attorney General during President George W. Bush's second term. She was initially appointed[24] in a recess appointment on August 31, 2005, to head the Criminal Division in the United States Department of Justice. Fisher was confirmed by the Senate on September 19, 2006 in a 61-35 vote.[4][5]

Nomination, hearing and confirmationEdit

"The President intends to nominate Alice S. Fisher, of Virginia, to be Assistant Attorney General (Criminal Division) at the Department of Justice. Ms. Fisher is currently a Partner with Latham & Watkins, LLP. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. Earlier in her career, Ms. Fisher served as Deputy Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Whitewater Development and Related Matters. She earned her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and her J.D. from The Catholic University of America."[13]

Fisher was nominated on March 29, 2005, and her nomination was sent to the Senate April 4, 2005. Her nomination was stalled by Michigan Senator Carl Levin over his inquiry into interrogation tactics at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval facility.[25][26] She was confirmed by the senate on September 19, 2006.[27]

According to a August 15, 2005 The New York Times' article by Eric Lichtblau, Senate Democrats blocked Fisher's confirmation for months because a critical post now vacant for about four months because of concerns over her "possible role in overseeing detention policies at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba".[18] Fisher and the Justice Department say she never took part in such meetings,"[18] According to the Times article, Senator Arlen Specter said "in the interview on Friday [August 12, 2005,] that he had concerns about the depth of criminal prosecution experience at the top of the Justice Department after the departure of" Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, who left in August 2005 to be Lockheed Martin's new general counsel. Comey had been "a veteran prosecutor in Manhattan...Judiciary Committee members said that for the first time in memory, none of the most senior officials at the Justice Department"—Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Timothy E. Flanigan, Robert D. McCallum, Jr., or Alice Fisher "would have experience as a criminal prosecutor."[18]

In his May 12, 2005 statement to hearing on for nominees for positions as Assistant Attorneys General for the Criminal Division, the Office of Legal Policy, and the Office of Justice Programs brought before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Vermont Senator Patrick J. Leahy acknowledged Fisher's "substantive law firm career", and her two years working in the "Criminal Division overseeing the Department's prosecutions in the high-profile areas of counterterrorism and corporate fraud".[15] However, Leahy was "somewhat concerned" that Fisher was "nominated for one of the most visible prosecutorial positions in the country without ever having prosecuted a case, and she brings to the position minimal trial experience in any context."[15] He contrasted her lack of experience to her predecessors, Criminal Division AAG's such as Mike Chertoff, James Robinson, and William Weld were seasoned federal prosecutors prior to taking this job.[15] Leahy also expressed concerns about Fisher's "views on checks of controversial provisions of the Patriot Act and her opposition to the Act’s sunset provision; her participation in meetings in which the FBI expressed its disagreement with harsh interrogation methods practiced by the military toward detainees held at Guantanamo, and her ideas about appropriate safeguards for the treatment of enemy combatants." Leahy was also concerned about "reports that she has had ties to Congressman Tom DeLay’s defense team" and "also [wanted] to know what steps she [intended] to take to avoid a conflict of interest in the Department’s investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and possibly Mr. DeLay."[15]

Major casesEdit

One of her first major investigations in the DOJ according to a January 2006 The Washington Post article, was the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal involving Jack Abramoff, who was a movie producer, an American lobbyist, and a businessman.[28][29] According to a May 1, 2005 Newsweek article, the case was particularly challenging because of the alleged close relationship between Abramoff and then House majority leader, Tom DeLay (R-Tx).[30] The Abramoff investigation was overseen by prosecutor Noel Hillman. With Fisher's appointment as AAG, Hillman would be working under her leadership. According to the Newsweek article, while Fisher was "widely respected", she was also a "loyal Republican socially close to DeLay's defense team".[30] The case was settled in September 2008, after Fisher left the DOJ, leading to the imprisonment of Abramoff for 48 months on "corruption, fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion" charges.[31]

At DOJ, Fisher's “signature initiatives include[d] a crackdown on corporate bribes and a new strategy to attack international organized crime. Fisher's cases were among the higher profile within the Justice Department at the time, including setting up the task forces on terrorism financing and Enron to serving on the President's Council on Corporate Responsibility and helping to draft the criminal provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.”[32]

Jeffrey Epstein's plea dealEdit

In Florida in 2008, during the tenure of Fisher as AAG, then U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta—who was federal prosecutor in Florida at that time—handled the "sex crimes case" of the multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein who had pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution.[33][34] According to a July 12 article in the Times, Acosta agreed to the 2008 plea deal "in which Epstein served 13 months in jail after being accused of sexually abusing dozens of young women and girls."[35] On July 8, when new charges were brought against Epstein by federal prosecutors—who accused him of "child sex trafficking"—the handling of the federal government—DOJ's Criminal Division—came under scrutiny resulting in Acosta's resignation as labor secretary.[35][33][34] There were "deepening questions about why federal prosecutors in Miami had cut a deal that shielded him from federal prosecution."[36]

Speaking and publicationsEdit

Fisher has published articles and spoken on criminal law topics such as the Criminalization of Corporate Conduct,[37] the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, government investigations, other international compliance issues and the legal industry.[38][39]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Leahy said Fisher was Chertoff's "long-time protégé".

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kashino, Marisa (June 28, 2011). "Legally Speaking: Alice Fisher". Washingtonian. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Alice S. Fisher, Assistant Attorneys General, DOJ, June 23, 2016, retrieved July 24, 2019
  3. ^ Personnel Announcement - White House news release, 31 August 2005
  4. ^ a b U.S. Congress (September 19, 2006). "Executive Session". Congressional Record. 152 (117): S9699–S9714. Retrieved November 22, 2006.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 2nd Session". September 19, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "DOJ Criminal Division Chief to Step Down", Legal Times, April 30, 2008, retrieved July 23, 2019
  7. ^ "The National Law Journal Names "Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers"". alm.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  8. ^ Scarella, Mike (June 28, 2010). "Most Influential Women Lawyers". The National Law Journal. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  9. ^ "45 Under 45 Alice Fisher". The American Lawyer. June 30, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  10. ^ "Candidates interview for FBI director post". Politico. May 12, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  11. ^ http://www.wisn.com/article/4-fbi-director-candidates-in-line-for-interviews/9648825
  12. ^ a b c "Biographical information on Alice Stevens Fisher (maiden name Alice Stevens Biedenbender)", Senate Hearing 109-205, Confirmation hearing on the nominations of Rachel L. Brand, Alice S. Fisher, and Regina B. Schofield to be Assistant Attorneys General, Washington, D.C., United States Committee on the Judiciary, May 12, 2005 109th Congress 1st Session
  13. ^ a b Personnel Announcement, White House, March 29, 2005, retrieved July 24, 2019
  14. ^ Brownback, Sam (May 12, 2005), "Opening statement of Hon. Sam Brownback, a U.S. Senator from the State of Kansas", Senate Hearing 109-205, Confirmation hearing on the nominations of Rachel L. Brand, Alice S. Fisher, and Regina B. Schofield to be Assistant Attorneys General, Washington, D.C., United States Committee on the Judiciary 109th Congress 1st Session
  15. ^ a b c d e f Leahy, Patrick (May 12, 2005). "Statement of The Honorable Statement of Senator Patrick J. Leahy". Hearing for Nominees to be Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, the Office of Legal Policy, and the Office of Justice Programs. United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2007. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  16. ^ James A. Baker; Alice S. Fisher; Patrick J. Fitzgerald; George Z. Toscas (September 14, 2016), Panel II: National Security and the Rule of Law (PDF), The National Security Division at 10: Past, Present, and Future, Washington, DC, retrieved July 26, 2019
  17. ^ James A. Baker, Alice S. Fisher, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, George Z. Toscas (September 14, 2016). Panel II: National Security and the Rule of Law (video). The National Security Division at 10: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: CSIS. Event occurs at 43:10. Alice Fisher is the managing partner of the Washington, D.C. office of Latham and Watkins. From 2001 to 2003, Alice was a deputy assistance attorney general for the Criminal Division – my first boss in a leadership role. I was – served as counsel to Alice. And in 2005 she was confirmed by the Senate as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division, the second woman in history to hold that position...Alice [was] deputy assistant attorney general under Mike Chertoff, who was the AAG in the Criminal Division at the time of 9/11. [Fisher spoke of changes she observed after 9/11 on the Criminal Division changes she saw after the November 2002 decision that upheld the "constitutionality of the PATRIOT Act provision that said that a significant purpose standard could be usedVideo on YouTube
  18. ^ a b c d e Lichtblau, Eric (August 15, 2005). "Tension Builds Between F.B.I. and Congress". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Alice S. Fisher". lw.com. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  20. ^ Kashino, Marisa (June 28, 2011). "Legally Speaking: Alice Fisher". Washingtonian. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  21. ^ Slater, Dan (September 10, 2008). "Latham Hearts the DOJ; Alice Fisher to Rejoin Firm". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  22. ^ Johnson, Carrie (May 1, 2008). "Justice Official Who Oversees Cases On Corruption, Fraud Is Quitting". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  23. ^ "Assistant Attorneys General". DOJ. January 27, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  24. ^ "Personnel Announcement" (Press release). August 31, 2005. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  25. ^ Podgor, Ellen (August 29, 2005). "Most Influential Women Lawyers". White Collar Crime Prof Blog. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  26. ^ Lat, David (September 20, 2006). "Congratulations to Alice Fisher!". Above The Law. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  27. ^ U.S. Congress (September 19, 2006). "Executive Session". Congressional Record. 152 (117): S9699–S9714. Retrieved November 22, 2006.
  28. ^ James, Frank (November 18, 2011). "Jack Abramoff: From Corrupt Lobbyist To Washington Reformer". NPR. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  29. ^ Squeo, Anne Marie (January 1, 2006). "Fisher Shoulders Sweeping Investigation Justice Department Lawyer Managing Abramoff Case Vows to Hold Officials Accountable". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  30. ^ a b Fineman, Howard (May 1, 2005). "The Right's Fight". Newsweek. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  31. ^ "Former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison on Charges Involving Corruption, Fraud, Conspiracy and Tax Evasion". September 4, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  32. ^ Smith, Heather (May 1, 2008). "After DOJ, Fisher Returns to Latham". Corporate Counsel. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  33. ^ a b Zapotosky, Matt; Merle, Renae; Barrett, Devlin (July 8, 2019). "Jeffrey Epstein charged with federal sex trafficking crimes involving young girls". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  34. ^ a b Weiser, Benjamin; Watkins, Ali (July 15, 2019). "Jeffrey Epstein's Safe Had 'Piles of Cash' and a Fake Passport, Prosecutors Say". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  35. ^ a b Karni, Annie; Sullivan, Eileen; Scheiber, Noam (July 12, 2019). "Acosta to Resign as Labor Secretary Over Jeffrey Epstein Plea Deal". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  36. ^ Watkins, Ali (July 8, 2019). "Jeffrey Epstein Is Indicted on Sex Charges as Discovery of Nude Photos Is Disclosed". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  37. ^ "Fisher: Corporate Criminal Liability". Northwestern University. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  38. ^ "Government Investigations for Life Sciences". American Conference Institute. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  39. ^ "The 2012 Forecast". The National Law Journal. January 16, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.

External linksEdit

  • Biography at Latham Watkins [1]
Legal offices
Preceded by
Christopher Wray
Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division
2005–2008
Succeeded by
Lanny Breuer