Statement of Former White House Lawyers Appointed by Republican Presidents

The undersigned lawyers served as lawyers in the Office of the White House Counsel and Executive Office of the President appointed by Republican presidents before President Trump. We endorse former Vice President Joe Biden for President, and decline to support President Trump for re-election, because we believe emphatically that no set of issues facing our country is more important than adherence to the Constitution, respect for the rule of law, and a commitment to abide by the checks and balances designed into our democracy by the Constitution’s framers.

Donald Trump has scoffed at these principles. In fact, he believes in no principle himself, and believes no one else ever acts out of principle – only power. Mr. Trump’s lawless, amoral and dishonorable ethos makes a mockery of the democratic accountability that is fostered through respect for law and our constitutional principles. He has overtly refused to honor the independence of the judiciary, failed to acknowledge the authority of Congress and the corresponding constraints imposed on a President by the separation of powers, demonized the free press that speaks truth to power, and undermined due process and the fair administration of justice by relentlessly politicizing the investigation and enforcement of the criminal law.

Chanting “lock him (or her) up” or “enemy of the people” are statements we could not have imagined Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush – or any President before this one – uttering about a political opponent or about some of our leading news organizations. Those ugly sentiments are the very antithesis of American ideals, and echo the authoritarian tyrants that every previous President would have challenged.

We believe Joe Biden can help reverse the un-American miasma foisted upon the country by Donald Trump. A President Biden could help heal the country’s civic, social and racial divisions by exhorting us all back toward our constitutional ideals and away from the demons that divide us. As President Reagan proposed in his famous Westminster Address, we need our leaders to rededicate themselves “to foster the infrastructure of democracy” that Trump and his enablers have degraded.

While President Trump has fomented hatred and sowed distrust, we hope a President Biden will evoke Reagan’s shining city on hill “teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace” and re-connect us with the “better angels of our nature.” Our endorsement of Joe Biden is grounded in the possibility that he would help unite Americans around Lincoln’s hopeful theme that “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”

Trump is responsible for breaking our common bonds, and Biden is especially well positioned to restore them. While we may not agree with all policies of a Biden Administration, we support Joe Biden with high expectation that he will be a President for all Americans.

Peter D. Keisler
Associate Counsel to the President
(Ronald Reagan 1986-1988)

Robert M. Kruger
Associate Counsel to the President
(Ronald Reagan 1986-1989)

Alan Charles Raul
Associate Counsel to the President
(Ronald Reagan 1986-1988)
General Counsel, Office of Management and Budget
(Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush 1988-1989)

Nicholas Rostow
Legal Adviser to the National Security Council
(Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush 1987-1993)

J. Michael Shepherd
Associate Counsel to the President
(Ronald Reagan, 1986-1987)