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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Fred F. Fielding as Counsel to the President

March 26, 1986

Dear Fred:

With great regret at your departure, and gratitude for your invaluable guidance and advice for more than five years, I accept your resignation as Counsel to the President.

I will miss your wise counsel and good judgement. Your service as the President's lawyer has exemplified the highest traditions both of the legal profession and of American public service. As your "only client," I appreciate as no one else can the enormity and variety of your contribution to the historic accomplishments we have been able to achieve for the American people.

We live in an era in which law pervades virtually every aspect of public policy', and public scrutiny of government is more intense than at any time in our Nation's history. Countless problems of every size and scope and substantive dimension were entrusted to you—and handled properly and effectively. Your foresight and timely guidance prevented countless other challenges from ever becoming problems at all.

At times of crisis, yours was a voice of calm and reason. Your intellect, skill, and tact mixed with warm personal qualities of compassion and good humor enabled you to discharge your duties with uncompromising integrity and a deep and unviolated respect for the innumerable confidences with which you were entrusted.

Under your guidance, the lawyers on your staff became a reflection of the man they served, establishing a standard and reputation for excellence and professionalism throughout the government. In many ways, your term of service has not only brought distinction to the office you held, but has actually helped define it and provide a model for any who would take on its manifold responsibilities in the future.

As you return to the private practice of law, you can look back with well earned pride and satisfaction on the service you have rendered, not simply to me, and to our Nation, but to the very institution of the Presidency.

I know that I will be able to seek your counsel and call upon you in the future. But for now, you leave the White House with the abiding affection and respect of Nancy and me, and with our very best wishes for you, Maria, and your children Adam and Alexandra.

With warm friendship and personal regards, and again my sincerest thanks.



Dear Mr. President:

As I told you, one of the most difficult decisions I ever made was to tender you my resignation as Counsel to the President.

It was difficult because you have entrusted me with challenges of great dimension and variety, and provided to me the confidences and had the confidence in me to do the tasks.

It was difficult because you permitted me to share in the exciting adventure of your Administration, which I believe will be regarded as a period of true fulfillment of the American spirit.

It was difficult because of the high regard and deep affection I have for you and the First Lady and the appreciation I have for the friendship and support you both have extended to me.

Mr. President, thank you for the honor you bestowed upon me and for providing me for the past five years with one of the most professionally and personally rewarding experiences of my life.

With deepest respect and very best personal wishes, I am,



Note: The originals were not available for verification of the content of these letters.

Ronald Reagan, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Fred F. Fielding as Counsel to the President Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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