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  • WisBar News
    May 05, 2011

    Former White House lawyer talks of ill-trodden steps and reinforces integrity

    Egil “Bud” Krogh, former White House deputy counsel during the Nixon Presidency. In this video, Krogh discusses some of his invaluable life lessons and how lawyers can build and maintain their personal and professional integrity.

    Egil “Bud” Krogh

    Egil “Bud” Krogh discusses some of his invaluable life lessons and emphasizes professional integrity as a plenary speaker at the Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Institute.


    Attendees listen to Egil “Bud” Krogh at the Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Institute.


    Egil “Bud” Krogh talks with attorney Charles Hanson after his speech.

    May 5, 2011 – Attorney Egil “Bud” Krogh wanted to be a Seattle zoning lawyer. But President Richard Nixon’s administration had other plans. Today, Krogh told Wisconsin lawyers about his experience with a covert group known as the “White House Plumbers,” the consequences that followed, and the importance of integrity.

    “No matter where you find yourself, no matter what organization you’re working for, you can never check your personal integrity at the door,” said Krogh, who pled guilty to a conspiracy crime as a result of his involvement with the covert group.
    Krogh, featured speaker at the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE’s Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Section Institute in Milwaukee, served as a White House counsel under President Nixon from 1969-73. He started at the age of 29.

    At 31, the White House deputy counsel became part of an investigations unit – the White House Plumbers – formed in response to an unauthorized leak of classified documents about the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg, who co-authored the top-secret “Pentagon Papers,” leaked them to the New York Times.

    President Nixon wanted action. Krogh authorized a covert operation to burglarize the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist to find information that would discredit Ellsberg. After his indictment, Krogh pled guilty to conspiracy to deprive individuals of Fourth Amendment rights under 18 U.S.C. 241. He refused to assert national security for a defense.

    Krogh admitted a superior loyalty to President Nixon, and at the time, a clouded judgment that forced him to make the wrong decisions. In 1974, he served a four-and-a-half month sentence and was later disbarred from the practice of law in Washington state.

    Krogh, who was reinstated to practice law in 1980, is now telling his story to teach others the importance of good decision-making and integrity. He’s a national speaker, practices law in Seattle, and is a senior fellow on ethics, leadership, and integrity at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington, D.C.

    His latest book, Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices and Life Lessons from the White House, provides a detailed account of his experiences. His entire presentation will soon be available via webcast, through State Bar PINNACLE, to registered attendees of the Institute for a one-time showing.


    • Register for the Real Estate & Business Law Institute, held in conjunction with the State Bar Annual Meeting, June 9-10, at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells.

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