Bush campaign paid large fees to Harriet Miers’ law firm

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George W. Bush’s gubernatorial campaigns paid $163,000 to the Texas law firm of Locke, Purnell, Rain and Harrell during 1998 and 1999. At the time, U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Harriet Miers worked for Locke, Purnell, which later merged with another firm to create Locke, Liddell & Sapp. The White House, citing attorney-client privilege, refuses to release details about the legal work done for Bush.

In 1998, two payments of $70,000 each were made within a month of each other. Legal fees for Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign amounted to $365,000, and the total for his 2004 campaign was $191,000. A White House spokeswoman called the 1998 Locke, Purnell work “routine campaign work,” but did not provide any details.

The $163,000 legal fee is considered extremely high for a gubertorial election campaign, and there is concern that some of Miers’ work was directly related to the disposition of Bush’s military records.

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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