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Sidley Austin partner Bradford Berenson is back in the news with another high-profile client. Susan Ralston, former executive assistant to presidential adviser Karl Rove, is seeking immunity from prosecution before testifying to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about contacts between Bush administration officials and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. “Susan did not violate the law in any way. However . . . she is not comfortable answering further questions without some comfort that her words won’t be used to hurt her unfairly,” Berenson says in a statement to Legal Times. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) says the panel will seek information elsewhere before deciding whether to grant Ralston’s request. But that move to seek immunity is in stark contrast to Berenson’s representation of D. Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Sampson was called to testify before Congress over the controversy surrounding nine fired U.S. attorneys. Unlike Ralston — or former top Justice Department aide Monica Goodling — Sampson never asked for a deal. When asked by Legal Times why the different legal tactics, Berenson, a former associate White House counsel, had no comment.
Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected].

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