Fox Can Re-Join Romney's Hen House

George W. has withdrawn the nomination of Sam Fox for ambassador to Belgium, after John Kerry and others started griping. Fox helped fund the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, so you can see why Kerry might not be a big fan.

But Belgium's loss could be Mitt Romney's gain. Fox is a big-time, big-league GOP donor with influence in Jewish donor circles, and he donated a cool $100,000 to Romney's PAC last summer, as I mentioned in these two stories about the Romney candidacy. That was before his nomination in December, which pretty much precluded him from helping candidates. Now that Fox is returning to private citizenry, it's a fair bet that he'll be back on the Mitt bandwagon.

Of course, Fox wouldn't be the only old Swift Boat hand on that wagon. As I've mentioned more than once, the Swiftie's main funder, Bob Perry, is on board. So is former Swift Boat counsel Benjamin Ginsberg.

Romney has not collected the whole Swift Boat set, however. Harold Simmons is with McCain, and Boone Pickens is with Giuliani. Both were multi-million-dollar Swift Boat funders.

But Romney has the backing of plenty of others who have been involved in Republican shenanigans and monkey business. In fact, quite a crowd of them will gather this Friday morning at a "Lawyers for Romney" fundraiser, judging by the names on the host committee for the event.

Ginsberg, for example, can reminisce about stopping the 2000 Florida recount -- he was chief counsel for Bush/Cheney '00 -- with J. Caleb Boggs III, who led the Florida recount team, and Judge David Norcross, who served as a recount "observer" in Palm Beach. Timothy Flanigan was also on that litigation team; he later became deputy to then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez, where he helped draft the "thumbs-up-for-torture" memos before his career crashed in the Jack Abramoff scandal. (While previously counsel for Tyco International, Flanigan oversaw a $2 million lobbying contract with Abramoff, $1.5 million of which Abramoff diverted to his other businesses, supposedly without Flanigan noticing.) Flanigan can laugh about fun times in Gonzalez's White House Counsel office with David Leitch, whose email exchanges from that office about plans to fire all the US Attorneys has recently been in the news, and Bradford Berenson, who went on to distinguish himself as cable television's foremost defender of the torture memos. Berenson blamed it all on John Ashcroft's Justice Department, which he can joke about with Ashcroft's communications director at the time, Barbara Comstock -- who went on to provide legal defense for Abramoff-enswirled indictee, Tom DeLay, and most recently (and unsuccessfully) Scooter Libby.

A fun crowd! "Breakfast refreshments will be served," the invite says. And it's just in time for the close of the first quarter fundraising report.

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