Goldman Hires Former White House Counsel for SEC Fight Gregory Craig has strong ties to Obama, Democrats By Emily Rauhala, Newser User Posted Apr 20, 2010 7:03 AM CDT 6 comments Comments President Barack Obama talks with White House Counsel Gregory Craig, after Craig, and other White House staff members were sworn-in, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) (Newser) – Goldman Sachs has hired a big gun to help get them out of big trouble. The beleaguered bank has tapped Gregory Craig, President Obama's former legal counsel, to help them fight a civil suit brought by the SEC last week. Craig, who served for Obama's first year, is an attorney with deep connections with Washington Democrats, Politico notes. As the wags at Gawker put it: "Goldman Sachs hoping old White House counsel still has Obama's cell number." Craig is the guy who took the fall for the administration's unfortunate decision to set a timetable for closing Gitmo—the deadline that came and went last January. A former White House employee can't appear for a client before any executive branch agency for 2 years, an official notes, but the SEC is independent of the executive branch, and has had no contact with the White House on the Goldman case.