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Fred Thompson’s departure from the presidential race last week left a benchful of top D.C. lawyers all dressed up with no place to go — until they decided, very quickly, to jump over to the Mitt Romney camp. “It’s a natural fit,” says Joseph diGenova of diGenova & Toensing, whose wife and law partner Victoria Toensing also made the move. In fact, both had been helping Romney before they went with Thompson, whom diGenova calls “an old personal friend.” The duo will now serve on the steering committee of Lawyers for Romney, which is chaired by Pepperdine law prof Douglas Kmiec. Other former members of “Lawyers for Fred” (as it was called) who now support Romney include Viet Dinh and Lizette Benedi of Bancroft Associates; former Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand; Cooper & Kirk’s Charles Cooper; Noel Francisco from Jones Day; and Eileen O’Connor, partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Other Romney newcomers who had not been on the Thompson team include Eugene Scalia, son of Justice Antonin Scalia and partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Noting that one partner, Theodore Olson, supports Rudy Giuliani and another, William Kilberg, supports John McCain, Eugene Scalia jokes, “I didn’t want Ted or Bill to think I was siding with the other against him.” Olson also shrugs off Scalia’s preference. “I have partners supporting Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Clinton, and Obama, that I know of.” Olson adds, “I remain four-square and enthusiastically behind Giuliani.” DiGenova says he expects that before long, other Giuliani supporters will join Lawyers for Romney. “Rudy is down for the count,” says diGenova.
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

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