Peter J. Wallison - Career

Career

  • 1966-1971 Associate, Rogers and Wells, New York, NY
  • 1971-???? special assistant, Governor of New York Nelson A. Rockefeller
  • 1971-1981 Partner, Rogers and Wells, New York, NY
  • 1972-1976 Special assistant to Nelson Rockefeller
  • 1973-1974 Counsel to the Commission on Critical Choices for Americans
  • 1975-1976 Counsel to Vice President of the United States Nelson Rockefeller. Dick Parsons was his deputy.
  • 1976 Campaign staff, Bob Dole's vice-presidential campaign
  • 1981-1985 General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury, under Don Regan. Early in his tenure he supervised the preparation of the report on the Secret Service and the Reagan assassination attempt in 1981. He was important in developing Reagan administration proposals to deregulate financial services that, with some changes, became law in 1999. Wallison recounts that he counseled against the Reagan administration's decision to oppose the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Carter administration's Internal Revenue Service revocation of Bob Jones University's tax exempt status because its prohibition against inter-racial dating by students violated public policy. Even if the IRS had determined policy, beyond its authority in deciding, opposing this case would be politically foolish. In the event he was recalled to the United States from a banking conference to be present for the Treasury's announcement; when he arrived he found that his seniors were all absent and he was required to announce this choice. Treasury and Department of Justice had worked this out between themselves, and White House staff were furious. A political firestorm followed, and efforts to mitigate it were unsuccessful. (The Supreme Court of the United States subsequently held, in Bob Jones University v. United States, that the IRS did have this power even though petitioner had complied with the language of the statute.
  • 1985-1986 partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • 1986-1987 White House Counsel to President of the United States Ronald Reagan. In the aftermath of the Iran Contra affair he came under investigation by Lawrence E. Walsh but was not indicted. (He believes his diary persuaded the independent counsel that he had not manipulated the President's testimony.)
  • 1987-1998 partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • 1999–present American Enterprise Institute, codirector of AEI's financial markets deregulation project.

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