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Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to President Clinton from 1996 to 1998, said the presence of a non-lawyer in the counsel’s office is “certainly justifiable.”

Mr. Davis said he did not have specific knowledge about Miss Daly or of the new position, but that he remembered having non-lawyers doing legal research at the White House counsel’s office in the Clinton White House.

“There were certainly interns doing legal research year round. I think we had a full-time or part-time paralegal,” said Mr. Davis, who writes a weekly news analysis for The Washington Times called Purple Nation.

Abner J. Mikva, White House counsel from 1994 to 1995, said the same thing.

“We had several non-lawyers attached to the office. One of them was doing research. Others were doing security matters, in addition to the vetting that the White House counsel’s office is sort of responsible for,” Mr. Mikva said.