West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

PRESIDENT LAWYERS UP FOR NAGGING ASSASSINATION INQUIRY -- The President's (Martin Sheen) team reacts to the ongoing inquiry into its pre-meditated Qumari assassination by lawyering up as they gingerly approach Leo's (John Spencer) lawyer (guest star Joanna Gleason) while a key judicial ruling on presidential third-party candiates throws a monkeywrench into the campaign. Elsewhere, Sam (Rob Lowe), Toby (Richard Schiff) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) hatch a radical new idea to pay for college education; and the approval process of executive secretary-to-be Deborah Fiderer (Lily Tomlin) hits a snag when new evidence is uncovered.


Opening - White House Situation Room, That Morning[]

The President (and Leo) arrive in the Situation Room to be briefed on Qumar.  Things are getting out of control and the President whispers to Leo they are going to need a lawyer.

Act I - 6:45am - Over Harrisburg, Pennsylvania[]

Air Force One is making its way to Michigan where the President will make an address.  C.J. is talking with the press and then is told by Bruno the President may get a question about Title IX.  Bruno turns to talk to Sam to tell him the court decision may come down on presidential debates.

Debbie Fidderer is on the plane and Sam is briefing her on what to expect in the coming days.  She is going to go through an extensive background screening - which she questions why, she's worked at the White House before - Sam points out that she has a "crash button" on her phone and this isn't her last job.

Back at the White House, Leo meets with Jordon Kendall and brings her to the White House Situation Room to tell her about Qumar.  The President calls to ask him how it's going.  Walking into the ballroom where the President will make his address, he is briefed by Special Agent Casper, the FBI has received a letter from the alleged bomber from Kennison State.  The letter promises more attacks.  The President then checks with Sam and Bruno to see if they have any remarks for him - the President decides to speak extemporaneously.

Act II[]

Jordon and Leo and still in the Situation Room talking about Shareef and Qumar.  The President asked Leo to get her because she has significant international law experience though what they did has no precedent.  Leo gets a call that the decision on presidential debates is about to come in - he asks Margaret to come down and show Jordon out.

Toby arrives and finds Josh - they both want to talk to the other about something.  Josh goes first and tells Toby about a story he read about a CEO getting a bonus that was tax deductible - he thinks that college tuition should be tax deductible as well.  Toby tells Josh that was exactly what he was going to tell him. Josh doesn't believe him, so as proof, Toby shows him the newspaper article that he'd marked up.  Josh is going to talk to Leo and they are going to have to find out a way to pay for it.

Bruno meets up with Josh and Toby and they talk about the upcoming decision - Sam weighs in and tells them not to worry.  Leo appears and tells the group they ruled for Sullivan.

Act III - 2:00pm[]

The Senior Staff is reviewing the Sullivan decision that allows alternative parties into the debate and are trying to find if there are any grounds for appeal.  They decide they are going to have to appeal to the Supreme Court, and Leo tells Sam they are going to have to get the Ritchie campaign to join in the motion.  Josh and Toby come to Sam to talk about finding the money for tax deductible tuition.  It is possible.  C.J. comes to find Josh after reading his memo on Title IX.

Charlie comes to talk with Debbie about the forms she has submitted.  She answered one of the questions to prove a point that no one really takes the forms seriously and also made an indirect threat against the President.  Charlie gets angry and Debbie apologizes and asks Charlie what she can do.

C.J. is talking with the President - Governor Ritchie has been angling for an invitation to the memorial at Kennison State.  The President tells C.J. to work it out - but he is going to speak.  They arrive in the Oval Office and are greeted by Fitzwallace and Leo.  C.J. leaves and the three talk about Jordon and how to proceed about Shareef and Qumar.  Fitzwallace suggests a misinformation campaign.

Special Agent Casper arrives to brief the President - they have some good leads on the group that may have been behind the bombing at Kennison State.

Act IV - House of Blues, Cambridge, Massachusetts[]

Josh, Toby, and C.J. are at a campaign rally and Josh and Toby are talking about how to make tax-deductible college tuition a reality.  C.J. is firing up the crowd.  Across the room, Josh spies Amy and goes to talk with her.  She is now working on the Stackhouse campaign, helping with debate prep now that the Sullivan decision will allow Stackhouse into the debates with the President and Governor Ritchie. She also says she misses him, but Josh seems mostly upset that Stackhouse will be breaking a deal he made to endorse Bartlett.

Back at the White House - Special Agent Casper briefs the President - they have surrounded a house in Iowa with suspected members of the Patriot Brotherhood.  They have fired on law enforcement and are preparing for a standoff.  The President tells Casper they don't go until he gives the order.  In the Oval Office, Fitzwallace tells Leo and the President how they intend to mislead the Qumari government that Shareef is alive and living in Libya planning to overthrow the Sultan (his brother).

The President comes to Leo's office to meet with Jordon.  Jordon is extremely uncomfortable with the information she now possesses - but the President impresses upon her that he needs her help and he understands the gravity of the situation more than she does.

Charlie brings Debbie to see the President and he tells her that despite what she wrote on the forms, she is keeping the job because he likes her.

In Massachusetts, Josh and Toby continue to make their case to C.J. and Sam.  They decide to bring it to Leo and try to make it happen.  Toby pulls out his phone and calls Matt Kelley (the man from the bar in Indiana) to tell him what they are working on.


Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
John Spencer as Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet

Special Guest Stars

Mary-Louise Parker as Amy Gardner
Ron Silver as Bruno Gianelli
with John Amos as Admiral Fitzwallace
and Lily Tomlin as Deborah Fiderer

Guest Starring

Joanna Gleason as Jordon Kendall
Clark Gregg as Special Agent Casper
Glenn Morshower as Mike Chysler
Thomas Kopache as Bob Slattery
John P. Connolly as Matt Kelley


S.E. Perry as Marine General Thomas
Peter James Smith as Ed
William Duffy as Larry
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt
Charles Noland as Steve
Alex Paez as David
Pam Shaddock as Jan
Mary Kathleen Gordon as Woman
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick
Larry Cox as Aide
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (uncredited)


Listen, I know we're here for a serious purpose, for a sober purpose, but I wanted to say I've never been a part of a street gang before, and that's basically what we are -- a pretty well-financed one -- but anyway, I wanted to say it feels good, and I think when we're done with this meeting, I think we should go out and get girls, and I don't know, maybe knock over a fruit stand or something
—President Bartlet
Debbie – Well, this is fine but I've worked at the White House before. At my last job, the background check wasn't nearly as extensive...
Sam – You have a button on your phone, a crash button
Debbie – Hmm?
Sam – You have a crash button which will bring the Secret Service in instantly and turn your office into a live microphone which will be broadcast all over the building. It's the button you push if someone's trying to take the Oval Office. This isn't your last job
Sam Seaborn: "Joy cometh in the morning," sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: [to Sam] Thank you
President Josiah Bartlet:  [enters ballroom - addresses the crowd] Thank you very much.  Thank you.  "Joy cometh in the morning," scripture tells us. I hope so. I don't know if life would be worth living if it didn't. And I don't yet know who set off the bomb at Kennison State. I don't know if it's one person or ten, and I don't know what they want. All I know for sure, all I know for certain, is that they weren't born wanting to do this. There's evil in the world. There'll always be, and we can't do anything about that. But there's violence in our schools, too much mayhem in our culture and we can do something about that. There's not enough character, discipline, and depth in our classrooms. There aren't enough teachers in our classrooms. [applause] There isn't nearly enough, not nearly enough, not nearly enough money in our classrooms, and we can do something about that. We're not doing nearly enough, not nearly enough to teach our children well. And we can do better, and we must do better, and we will do better. And we will start this moment today! They weren't born wanting to do this.

President Bartlet: Charlie?
Charlie: Yes, sir?
President Bartlet: In ascending order of age, would you get my daughters on the phone, please?
Charlie: Yes, sir.
President Bartlet: Thank you.

Toby – There are a lot of reasons not to do it...but... We met a guy last night, at an airport hotel in a bar. His daughter was upstairs in the room. They'd been looking at colleges. He makes fifty-five thousand dollars a year, his mutual fund got beat up yesterday on Wall Street, he was so happy to be taking his daughter to colleges. He came downstairs to the bar because he didn't want her to see that he didn't know how he was gonna pay for it. There are a lot of reasons not to do it. But during the first campaign, the President said there were two kinds of politicians-
Sam – The ones who try to say yes, and the ones who try to-
Toby – -And we're gonna throw these guys out because they wanna say no


  • Aimee Mann performs a cover of James Taylor's "Shed A Little Light"; Barenaked Ladies perform "One Week"


  • When President Bartlet is giving his speech in East Lansing, the Flag of Mississippi is clearly visible on the stage. East Lansing is in the State of Michigan, and the Flag of Michigan is not visible anywhere during the scene.


I PilotPost Hoc, Ergo Propter HocA Proportional ResponseFive Votes Down
The Crackpots and These WomenMr. Willis of OhioThe State DinnerEnemiesThe Short List
In Excelsis DeoLord John MarburyHe Shall, from Time to Time...Take Out the Trash Day
Take This Sabbath DayCelestial Navigation20 Hours in L.A.The White House Pro-Am
Six Meetings Before LunchLet Bartlet Be BartletMandatory Minimums
Lies, Damn Lies and StatisticsWhat Kind of Day Has It Been?
II In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part I)In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part II)The Midterms
In This White HouseAnd It's Surely to Their CreditThe Lame Duck CongressThe Portland Trip
ShibbolethGalileoNoëlThe Leadership BreakfastThe Drop-In
Bartlet's Third State of the UnionThe War at HomeEllie
Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to JailThe Stackhouse Filibuster
17 PeopleBad Moon RisingThe Fall's Gonna Kill You18th and PotomacTwo Cathedrals
III Manchester (Part I)Manchester (Part II)Ways and MeansOn the Day BeforeWar CrimesGone QuietThe Indians in the LobbyThe Women of QumarBartlet for AmericaH.Con - 172100,000 AirplanesThe Two BartletsNight FiveHartsfield's LandingDead Irish Writers
The U.S. Poet LaureateStirredEnemies Foreign and DomesticThe Black Vera Wang
We Killed YamamotoPosse Comitatus
IV 20 Hours in America (Part I)20 Hours in America (Part II)College KidsThe Red Mass
Debate CampGame OnElection NightProcess StoriesSwiss DiplomacyArctic Radar
Holy NightGuns Not ButterThe Long GoodbyeInauguration (Part I)
Inauguration: Over There (Part II)The California 47thRed Haven's on FirePrivateers
Angel MaintenanceEvidence of Things Not SeenLife On MarsCommencementTwenty-Five
V 7A WF 83429The Dogs of WarJefferson LivesHanA Constituency of OneDisaster ReliefSeparation of PowersShutdownAbu el BanatThe Stormy PresentThe Benign PrerogativeSlow News DayThe Warfare of Genghis KhanAn KheFull DisclosureEppur Si Muove
The SupremesAccessTalking PointsNo ExitGazaMemorial Day
VI NSF ThurmontThe Birnam WoodThird-Day StoryLiftoffThe Hubbert PeakThe Dover TestA Change Is Gonna ComeIn The RoomImpact WinterFaith Based Initiative
Opposition Research365 DaysKing CornThe Wake Up CallFreedoniaDrought ConditionsA Good DayLa PalabraNinety Miles AwayIn God We TrustThings Fall Apart2162 Votes
VII The TicketThe Mommy ProblemMessage of the WeekMr. FrostHere Today
The Al Smith DinnerThe DebateUndecidedsThe WeddingRunning Mates
Internal DisplacementDuck and CoverThe ColdTwo Weeks OutWelcome to Wherever You Are
Election Day (Part I)Election Day (Part II)RequiemTransitionThe Last Hurrah
Institutional MemoryTomorrow