West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

Oliver Babish is the fifth and final White House Counsel under President Josiah Bartlet. He is from Chicago, and his father's father received a gavel from Justice Brandeis.[1] He has been sued for divorce four times.[2]

He has a long history with the Bartlet family. He and the President have built hospitals together, and he was Midwest Finance Chairman on the Bartlet for America campaign. They've never played chess together, however, and President Bartlet thinks Oliver looks down on him because he isn't a lawyer. His children know President Bartlet's daughters.[1]

Leo McGarry had to beg him to take the job after Bartlet lost his previous four Counsels because he didn't let them into the inner circle. Oliver had only served for three months when President Bartlet reveals he had multiple sclerosis, and he agrees to stay through the ensuing scandal only if the President will do exactly what he says.[1] He works on the White House's defense by speaking with Abbey Bartlet,[3][4] Charlie Young,[5] and C.J. Cregg,[2] and he confronts the Special Prosecutor Clem Rollins, with whom he once wrote a paper, over his handling of the case.[6] Oliver's friendliness with Rollins is one of the reasons Congress takes over the investigation, which ends when Bartlet accepts a congressional censure.

He speaks with C.J. again when she is the White House Chief of Staff regarding the shuttle leak. He expresses suspicion about her relationship with Greg Brock, the reporter who broke the story, but doesn't ask her if she leaked the story to him because he doesn't want to hear her answer. He tells the President the White House needs to stop the internal investigation, and he refuses to tell the President who his suspect is.[7] When Toby Ziegler confesses he leaked the story, Oliver questions Toby and C.J. He insists on being present when the President fires Toby, and since the President doesn't, he thanks Toby for his service.[8]

He decamps to Brayton-Connelly afterwards, but Josh Lyman believes he will come back if he is named Attorney General in the Santos Administration. His association with the multiple sclerosis scandal and the shuttle leak are potential problems, but there is no doubt he will be confirmed, only that those cases will be used to get in the last licks at the Bartlet Administration.[9]


  • Oliver has been kicked out of bars.[4]
  • He gets his news from Le Monde, a French daily newspaper.[4]


In my entire life, I have never found anything charming
—Oliver to C.J.
Nature is to be protected from... Like a woman, nature seduces you with its sights and its scents and its touch... and then it breaks your ankle. Also like a woman
Abigail – What the hell kind of dates are you going on, Oliver?
Babish – I hear you

Oliver Babish – If I stay, will you do exactly what I tell you to do? 
President Josiah Bartlet – I guess it depends. 
Oliver Babish – I'm afraid it can't depend, sir. 
President Josiah Bartlet – [pauses and thinks] What would my first step be? 
Oliver Babish – First tell your staff. 
President Josiah Bartlet – Yeah. 
Oliver Babish – Then, decide how to make a public announcement. 
President Josiah Bartlet – Yeah. 
Oliver Babish – Then, order the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor. Not just any special prosecutor, the most blood-spitting, Bartlet-hating Republican in the Bar. He's gonna have an unlimited budget and a staff like an army. The new slogan around here is gonna be "Bring it on!" He's gonna have access to every piece of paper you ever touched. If you invoke executive privilege one time, I'm gone. An assistant D.A in Ducksworth wants to take your deposition, you're on the next plane. A freshman Congressman wants your testimony, you'll sit in his kitchen. They wanna drag you to The Hague and charge you with war crimes, what'll we say? 
President Josiah Bartlet – Bring it on. 

Oliver Babbish: I thought he'd thank you for your service.

Toby Ziegler: He's angry.

Oliver Babbish: Someone should thank you for your service.

Cabinet of President Matt Santos
Vice President   Eric Baker
Secretary of State   Arnold Vinick
Secretary of the Treasury   Rosenthal
Secretary of Defense   Swain
Attorney General   Oliver Babish
Secretary of Agriculture   Ed Keenitz
White House Chief of Staff   Josh Lyman
Ambassador to the United Nations   Nancy McNally

Lionel Tribbey
White House Counsel
Ainsley Hayes
Alan Fisk
United States Attorney General