[Richard Painter, guest-blogging, March 24, 2009 at 6:13pm] Trackbacks

I should add a word about what I can and cannot talk about. I cannot discuss specific communications to me from the President or his staff or specific information learned in the course of my legal representation that was intended to be confidential. I do, however, discuss in my book the types of issues we confronted, all of which are public knowledge and many of which will also be confronted by President Obama and his staff. The President owns the attorney-client privilege, and my ethical duty to keep confidences also runs to him. The President can waive the privilege or the duty, but has not done so. How such matters are handled by Presidents when White House communications are those made under former Presidents is an issue that I will leave to them. Some argue from a policy perspective that none of this information should be privileged or even kept confidential, but such has not been the generally accepted practice. I find plenty to talk about in my book without having to explore the outer limits of the privilege or the duty to keep confidences.