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Richard Hertling, who spent 13 years working for moderate Senate Republicans and the past 10 days as the Justice Department’s acting chief lobbyist, is more evidence that President George W. Bush wants his last two years as confrontation-free as possible — at least with a Democratic-led House and Senate. Hertling was most recently deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy. But he also has worked for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson’s Committee on Governmental Affairs during the Clinton impeachment, ex-Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.), and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). During last week’s Hill appearance of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Hertling moved easily about the hearing room, putting his arm around Bruce Cohen, chief counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), as if they were old friends.
T.R. Goldman can be contacted at [email protected].

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