ABC News' Ann Compton reports: Goldman Sachs has reached into the ranks of the Obama White House alumni for some political protection. Former White House counsel Greg Craig has been hired to advise the Wall Street giant after it was charged by the government last Friday with fraud and misleading its own investors.
Officials at the White House say Craig did not alert them about his decision to take on Goldman Sachs as a client at the law firm Skadden Arps, where Craig now works.
Federal ethics rules prohibit lobbying, but Craig may have avoided complications. An administration official explains, "a former White House employee cannot appear before any unit of the Executive Office of the President on behalf of any client for 2 years -- one year under federal law and another year under the pledge pursuant to the January 2009 ethics executive order” signed by President Obama. But the Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed the civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, is an independent agency and West Wing advisors believe Craig’s work would not run afoul of the rules IF Craig does not contact the White House.
Craig left the Obama administration in late 2009 after a rocky year mired in national security issues and attempts to close the detainee prison at Guantanamo.
-- Ann Compton