Viet D. Dinh

Viet D. Dinh (Vietnamese: Đinh Đồng Phụng Việt; born February 22, 1968) is a lawyer and a conservative legal scholar[1] who served as an Assistant Attorney General of the United States from 2001 to 2003, under the presidency of George W. Bush. Born in Saigon,[2] in the former South Vietnam, he was the chief architect of the USA PATRIOT Act and is a former member of the Board of Directors of News Corporation.[3][4][5]

Viet D. Dinh
Viet Dinh by Gage Skidmore
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy
In office
May 31, 2001 – May 31, 2003
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byEleanor D. Acheson
Succeeded byDaniel J. Bryant
Personal details
BornFebruary 22, 1968 (age 51)
Saigon, Vietnam
CitizenshipVietnamese, American
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceWashington, D.C.
Alma materHarvard University (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)

Early life

Dinh was born in Saigon, South Vietnam. He and his family emigrated to the United States in 1978, three years after Vietnam had fully embraced communism. They initially settled in Portland, Oregon, but moved to Fullerton, California, two years later. Dinh joined the restarted debate team at Fullerton High under coaches Gary Reed and Jacqueline Reedy as a senior, who encouraged him to apply to Harvard University.[6]

Dinh graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1990 with an A.B. in Government and Economics. While at Harvard, he was a member of the Phoenix S.K. Club. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he was a Class Marshal, an Olin Research Fellow in Law and Economics, and Bluebook editor of the Harvard Law Review, and received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude in 1993.



After graduating from law school, Dinh served as a law clerk to Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor during the 1994 Term.

Dinh has served as Associate Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Whitewater Committee, as Special Counsel to Senator Pete V. Domenici for the Impeachment Trial of President Bill Clinton, and as counsel to the Special Master in re Austrian and German Bank Holocaust Litigation.

He is a member of the District of Columbia and Supreme Court bars.[7]

In late 2003, he was one of a group of prominent U.S. security officials hired by ChoicePoint to advise the company on developing its government homeland security contracts.

In 2006 he joined Kenneth Starr in challenging the constitutionality of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.[8]

Dinh currently serves on or has served on the boards of the News Corporation, The Orchard Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ; ORCD), Liberty’s Promise, the American Judicature Society, the Transition Committee for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Section on National Security Law of the Association of American Law Schools, and the ABA Section on Administrative Law.

He currently resides in Washington, D.C., teaches at Georgetown University Law Center, and is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.[9] In September 2016, Kirkland hired all of the attorneys at the firm Dinh founded, Bancroft PLLC.[10][11]

Dinh's representative publications include Defending Liberty: Terrorism and Human Rights in the Helsinki Monitor, Codetermination and Corporate Governance in a Multinational Business Enterprise in the Journal of Corporation Law, and Financial Sector Reform and Economic Development in Vietnam in Law and Policy in International Business. He was writing a book Judicial Authority and Separation of Powers (forthcoming as of 2000[12]) and published The USA Patriot Act: Preserving Life and Liberty in 2008.[13] He published a piece of fiction in the Chicago Review in 2004.[14]

In September 2006 Dinh received publicity for representing Tom Perkins, a former Hewlett-Packard director involved in the company's pretexting scandal.[15] The emails between Perkins and Larry Sonsini, a corporate lawyer involved with Board of Directors decisions for many Corporations were eventually forwarded to reporters and became public.[16]

Dinh, along with fellow News Corp. board member, fellow lawyer, and Corporation executive Joel Klein, took over the investigation of the News of the World phone hacking affair and related Corporation issues in July, 2011, from News International UK Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks. Brooks' own possible involvement in the phone hacking scandal made her unable to continue as an impartial investigator.[17] Tom Perkins, also on the News Corp. board, was one who recommended Dinh for the investigation role.

It emerged after he was appointed to the board investigation that Dinh is godfather to one of Lachlan Murdoch's children and friend of Lachlan since 2003. Further, in 1992, a decade before he met Lachlan, Dinh wrote of his sister, held in a Hong Kong refugee camp, in the New York Times, which led to NBC TV coverage and then to a series of articles in the South China Morning Post. The Post was owned by Rupert Murdoch, and Dinh's articles there were credited with helping free his sister. The personal ties to Murdoch interests and family were debated as Dinh took the role in the phone-hacking investigation.[18][19]

Department of Justice

Dinh served as Assistant Attorney General of the United States from 2001 to 2003, under the presidency of George W. Bush.[20] He was confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 96 to 1, with the sole No vote coming from Hillary Clinton.[21][22] As the official responsible for federal legal policy, Dinh worked with issues of illicit drugs, racial profiling in federal law enforcement, exploitation of children, human trafficking, DNA technology, gun violence, and civil and criminal justice procedural reform. Dinh was also involved in the selection and confirmation of 100 district and 23 appellate judges in his role representing the U.S. Department of Justice. After 9/11, Dinh conducted a comprehensive review of DOJ priorities, policies and practices, and played a key role in developing the USA PATRIOT Act and revising the Attorney General's Guidelines, which govern federal law enforcement activities and national security investigations.[20]

Georgetown University Law Center

Dinh is Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. His expertise lies in constitutional law, corporations law, and the law and economics of development. He is also currently Co-Director of the Asian Law & Policy Studies Program. He previously served as Co-Director of the Joint Program in Law and Business Administration, from 1998–99.

Personal life

His family was separated in 1975 when his father, Phong Dinh, was being held as a political prisoner in the family's war-ravaged homeland after the fall of Saigon. He escaped in 1978, and remained a fugitive in Vietnam, when his mother, Nga Thu Nguyễn, and his older siblings got on a boat with 85 other people and set out.[23] For 12 days Dinh was in a broken 15-foot-long boat, at one point with no food or water.[23] They encountered a Thai fishing crew that gave them food and gas, and helped fix the boat and pointed them toward land. When they reached Malaysia they were met by gunshots from a patrol boat; the Malaysians didn't want them.[23] Their boat docked but Dinh's mother realized that the port police would force them to leave the next morning, so she sneaked back out to the boat alone that night with an axe and damaged the boat so as not to be sent back on it.[23] After six months as refugees in Malaysia, Dinh's family arrived at Oregon in November 1978. They picked strawberries for menial wages, sending money back to Dinh's father and a sibling hiding out in Vietnam.[24] After Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, the crop damage forced his family to relocate to Fullerton.[24]

Dinh was honored by his high school alma mater when he was added to Fullerton's wall of fame. He will share that wall with an ideological opposite, David Boies, former Vice President Al Gore's lawyer for the Florida recount.

Dinh was reunited with his father in 1982. In 1992, he was reunited with one of his sisters at a refugee camp in Hong Kong, a meeting filmed by the newsmagazine show Dateline NBC.

Future Supreme Court nominee

Dinh was mentioned as a potential nominee to The Supreme Court of the United States in a Republican administration.[25]

Articles, interviews, and testimony

See also


  1. ^ Hoyer, Steny (2009-02-22). "Time to Keep the Founders' Promise in D.C". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  2. ^ United States Department of Justice. "USDOJ: Assistant Attorney General Viet D. Dinh". Archived from the original on 2004-02-16. Retrieved 2004-02-16.
  3. ^ "News Corporation Announces Intent to Pursue Separation of Businesses to Enhance Strategic Alignment and Increase Operational Flexibility - News Corp". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Board of Directors - News Corp". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  5. ^ Nakashima, Ryan (October 21, 2011). "Murdoch takes on shareholders at annual meeting". Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved July 2, 2017. board director Viet Dinh
  6. ^ Mui, Yian Q. "From East to West then Up and to the Right" in Washington Post, August 29, 2001. Web. accessed October 8, 2017
  7. ^ "Find a Member". District of Columbia Bar. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "Ken Starr to Lead Legal Challenge to the PCAOB - AccountingWEB". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Viet D. Dinh Bio". Kirkland & Ellis. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  10. ^ Lat, David (September 12, 2016). "Kirkland & Ellis Hires Paul Clement, Viet Dinh — And All Of Bancroft's Lawyers!". Above the Law. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Viet D. Dinh Bio". Bancroft PLLC. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  12. ^ Hearing on "Private Property Rights and Telecommunications Policy", transcript, Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, U. S. House of Representatives, March 21, 2000. Greenwood Press said by Dinh to be planned publisher. No sign at Amazon it was ever published. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  13. ^ The USA Patriot Act: Preserving Life and Liberty, Kindle edition (LeClue22, 2008). ASIN: B0015M0TSA. Only full book under "Viet Dinh" at Amazon. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  14. ^ Chicago Review 49:2 Summer 2004, Review webpage. Listed as Summer 2003 at Amazon. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  15. ^ Lat, David (September 14, 2006). "Viet Dinh: Still As Cuddly As Ever". Above the Law. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  16. ^ Lattman, Peter (2006-09-08). "Issue Spotting: Larry Sonsini's Email Exchange". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  17. ^ Doward, Jamie, Toby Helm, et al., "Phone-hacking scandal: is this the tipping point for Murdoch's empire?", The Guardian, 9 July 2011 23.11 BST. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  18. ^ "Murdoch’s Denials Are Tough to Believe, Former Wall Street Journal Reporter Sarah Ellison Says", interview by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, July 20, 2011.
  19. ^ Grover, Ronald, and Tom Schoenberg, "News Corp. Director Leading Phone-Hack Probe Has Personal Ties to Murdoch", Bloomberg, Aug 8, 2011 12:01 AM ET. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  20. ^ a b "Press release: Assistant Attorney General Viet D. Dinh to Step Down". United States Department of Justice. May 3, 2003. Retrieved July 2, 2017. He played a key role in drafting and implementing the USA PATRIOT Act, landmark legislation that provided the law enforcement and intelligence communities with necessary tools to fight the war against terrorism. Dinh also spearheaded the revision of the Attorney General’s Guidelines, which govern the conduct of federal law enforcement activities and national security investigations.
  21. ^ "Washington Notebook: Justice nominees win Senate confirmation". Houston Chronicle. May 27, 2001. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  22. ^ Lichtblau, Eric (September 18, 2002). "At Home in War on Terror: Viet Dinh has gone from academe to a key behind-the scenes role. Conservatives love him; others find his views constitutionally suspect (Abstract)". Los Angeles Times. pp. A1.
  23. ^ a b c d Do-Quen (2013). "Viet Dinh - Favorite Son of Vietnamese Expatriates". Viet Life Magazine. Retrieved July 2, 2017. Mrs. Dinh crept back to the boat with an ax and hacked at the vessel so it would sink, and the Malaysian government would allow them to stay.
  24. ^ a b Biber, Katie (April 16, 2003). "Viet Dinh: An American Story". The Harvard Law Record. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  25. ^ Taranto, James (September 9, 2005). "Justice Dinh". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-08-27.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Eleanor Acheson
Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy
Succeeded by
Daniel J. Bryant
Business positions
Preceded by
Graham Kraehe
Member of the Board of Directors of News Corporation
Bancroft PLLC

Bancroft PLLC (formerly Bancroft Associates PLLC) was an American law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. The firm was founded in Washington, D.C. by former Assistant Attorney General Viet D. Dinh. Bancroft specializes in Supreme Court and appellate litigation, government investigations, national security law, and corporate governance.Bancroft works in a number of substantive areas, including antitrust, arbitration, class actions, commercial, copyright, criminal, education, employment, energy, environmental, ERISA, FDA, health care, insurance, labor, national security, patent, preemption, RICO, securities, telecommunications, and all manner of constitutional issues.In April 2011, former Solicitor General Paul Clement joined the firm as a partner after resigning from King & Spalding, after that firm dropped the case of defending the Defense of Marriage Act. In September 2016, Kirkland & Ellis hired all of the attorneys at the firm.

Dinh (surname)

Dinh is a Vietnamese surname. In Vietnam, the surname is spelled Đinh or Đình but Đình is very rare in Vietnamese.

Eleanor D. Acheson

Eleanor "Eldie" Dean Acheson (born 1947) is an American lawyer who served as Assistant Attorney General of the United States for the Office of Policy Development as part of the Clinton Administration.

Fox Corporation

The Fox Corporation (abbreviated Fox Corp. and informally "New Fox") is an American television broadcasting company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was formed from the 2019 acquisition of 21st Century Fox (itself formed from the 2013 split of News Corporation) by the Walt Disney Company. Fox Corp. was spun off from 21st Century Fox and its stock began trading on March 19, 2019. It is owned by the Murdoch family via a family trust with 39% interest; Rupert Murdoch is co-executive chairman, while his son Lachlan Murdoch is chairman and CEO.

Fox Corp. deals primarily in the television broadcast, news, and sports broadcasting industries by way of the remaining 21st Century Fox assets that were not acquired by Disney. They include the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Stations, Fox News, the Fox Business Network, the national operations of Fox Sports, and others. Its sister company under Murdoch's control, the present-day News Corp, holds his print interests and other media assets in Australia.

Fullerton Union High School

Fullerton Union High School is a public high school located in the Orange County, California city of Fullerton, United States operated by the Fullerton Joint Union High School District.

Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy

The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy is a law review for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship. It was established by Harvard Law School students Spencer Abraham and Stephen Eberhard in 1978, leading to the founding of the Federalist Society, for which it is the official journal. It is one of the top five most widely circulated law reviews in the United States.Notable alumni include Neil Gorsuch, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Alexander Acosta, Mike Pompeo, David Barron, Rachel Brand, Jennifer Elrod, John K. Bush, Joseph D. Kearney, Kevin Newsom, Gregory Katsas, Adrian Vermeule, Orrin Kerr, and David Frum.

Past authors have included George H.W. Bush, Guido Calabresi, Ted Cruz, Viet D. Dinh, Frank H. Easterbrook, John C. Eastman, Richard Garnett, Robert George, Douglas H. Ginsburg, Lino Graglia, Neil Gorsuch, Alex Kozinski, George L. Priest, William H. Pryor, Jr., Neomi Rao, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Eugene Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Ron Paul, and John Yoo.

List of Georgetown University faculty

This is a list of notable Georgetown University faculty, including both current and past faculty at the Washington, D.C. school. As of 2007, Georgetown University employs approximately 1,202 full-time and 451 part-time faculty members across its three campuses. Many former politicians choose to teach at Georgetown, including U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Andrew Natsios, National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, U.S. Senator and Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, and CIA director George Tenet. Politically, Georgetown's faculty members give more support to liberal candidates, and their donation patterns are consistent with those of other American university faculties. All of Georgetown University's presidents have been faculty as well.

List of Vietnamese Americans

This is a list of notable Vietnamese Americans.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Vietnamese American, or must have independent reliable source references showing they are Vietnamese American and are notable.

List of people from Fullerton, California

Here follows a list of people from Fullerton, California; that is, of persons born in or who have spent a significant portion of their life in Fullerton, California.

Paul Abbott, baseball pitcher

Dick Ackerman, politician

The Adolescents

Agent Orange (band)

Alfie Agnew, mathematician, songwriter and musician

Frank Agnew, songwriter and musician

Rikk Agnew, songwriter and musician

Ed Amelung, baseball player

David Boies, attorney

Jackson Browne, folk music singer-songwriter, graduated from Sunny Hills High School

Shaun Butler, BMX rider

James Cameron, Oscar-winning film director

Gary Carter, baseball player, member of MLB Hall of Fame, attended Sunny Hills High School

Kim Chambers

Sam L. Collins, politician

Kevin Costner, actor and Oscar-winning director, graduate of California State University, Fullerton

Suzanne Crough, actress

Dennis Danell, musician

William E. Dannemeyer, politician

Philip K. Dick, author, science fiction

Viet D. Dinh, assistant U.S. Attorney General under George W. Bush

Hector Dyer

Jim Edmonds, baseball player

Leo Fender, inventor, guitar manufacturer

C.S. Forester, novelist

Jeremy Gable, playwright

James Harder, engineer, professor

Jenna Haze

Chris Hebert, actor

Lynn Hill, competitive rock climber

D. J. Houlton, baseball player who currently plays for Yomiuri Giants in Japan

Wesley Jansen, actor

Randy Jones, baseball pitcher

Dan Kennedy, soccer player

Chuck Knipp

Kourtney Kunichika, professional ice hockey player for the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL

Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame baseball manager and Dodgers executive, lives in Fullerton

Leon Leyson, believed to be the youngest member of the Schindlerjuden who were saved from the Holocaust by Oskar Schindler

Lit (band)

Michael McDonald

Mike Ness, musician

Phil Nevin, baseball player

David Newhan, baseball player

Lon Nol, former president of Khmer Republic

Jory Prum, recording engineer

John Raitt, Broadway, television, and film actor and singer

Shawn Ray, bodybuilder

Brian St. Clair, drummer for Local H, was raised in Fullerton, California

Jack Salveson, baseball player

Steven Seagal, actor

Social Distortion

Jeff Soto, contemporary artist

Stacey Q, singer, songwriter & actress

Gwen Stefani, singer and television personality

Skip Stellrecht, actor

John Sullivan, football player

Jeff Tam, baseball player

Kelly Thomas, homeless man beaten to death by the Fullerton Police Department

Tui St. George Tucker


Keith Van Horn, basketball player

Arky Vaughan, Hall of Fame baseball player

John Witt (Ballhawk)

Mike Witt, baseball pitcher

Eric Wynalda, soccer player

Gary Zimmerman, football player

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