White House counsel set to leave in May
Kathryn Ruemmler seen at far right
April 7th, 2014
09:34 AM ET
7 years ago

White House counsel set to leave in May

Washington (CNN) – Kathryn Ruemmler, the top White House lawyer who became a key adviser to President Barack Obama, will leave her post in May, a White House official said on Monday.

Ruemmler will return to private practice after her time serving Obama. She has advised the President on a number of delicate issues, most recently the CIA's clash with the Senate over allegations of spying on Intelligence Committee staffers.

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"Kathy has become one of my most trusted advisers over the past few years," Obama said in a statement. "I deeply value her smarts, her judgment, and her wit – but most importantly her uncanny ability to see around the corners that nobody else anticipates. I will forever be grateful for her counsel and wish her only the best in future endeavors."

The White House counsel advises the President and his administration on all legal matters, including policy, legislation and ethics issues. During Ruemmler's time in the position the administration encountered a series of legal questions, including over whether the U.S. could launch airstrikes on Syria without first going through Congress, and on the legality of Obama's recess appointments.

Ruemmler, a former federal prosecutor who worked on the case against Enron, assumed the White House counsel role in 2011. She initially agreed to stay on board through the 2012 campaign, and then agreed to extend her tenure until the end of 2013. Officials say her latest May departure date is firm, but that her successor hasn't yet been chosen.

The New York Times first reported Ruemmler was planning to leave in May.

CNN White House Producer Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama • White House
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Smitty

    Another rat leaving a sinking ship

    April 7, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Thank you for your good counsel, and good luck in your future endeavors.

    April 7, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. S.B. Stein

    @ Smitty - She has stayed on longer than previously planned. If she were fleeing a sinking ship, then why didn't she leave earlier? The better question is about her going back to private practice, going up for a judicial appointment or becoming a US attorney again. Which option will it be?

    April 7, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. salty dog

    Right Smitty, she stays a year longer than planned, and that's your take, why am I not surprised?

    April 7, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. salty dog

    More highly intelligent commentary, from highly educated gop fan base..... sigh.....

    April 7, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Gunderson

    Humm, Well,
    So you wanna become Obama Adviser? I hear Coal miners need jobs as Obama forced many closings. Um probably many leaving before they have to join Food Stamp line also. Welcome to the Cold Hard Facts of Life.

    April 7, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |