White House Counsel Ruemmler Leaving

Image: White House Counsel Ruemmler Leaving

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 06:53 AM

By Elliot Jager

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Kathryn Ruemmler, who as White House counsel since June 2011 wielded considerable influence over controversial White House policies, will be leaving in mid-May, The New York Times reported.

President Barack Obama said in a statement that, "Kathy has become one of my most trusted advisers over the past few years. 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."

Ruemmler, a former Enron prosecutor and white-collar defense lawyer, was not part of Obama's inner circle when she took up the assignment. She quickly built up trust with the president and his top aides. Her reputation was as a lawyer who did not push her own agenda and focused on Obama's "equities," the Times reported.

The president took her advice to seek congressional authorization for any air strike on Syria, though she assured him he had the legal authority to act on his own against that country's chemical weapons facilities, according to the Times.

She led White House pressure on the Democratic leadership in the senate to change the filibuster rules so the president's judicial appointments could be advanced by a simple majority instead of a 60-vote supermajority. Her advice in support of same-sex marriage also held sway. She advised the president to cite executive privilege regarding emails involving the Fast and Furious gun program.

Ruemmler's position on Freedom of Information requests was to oppose the disclosure of any documents that might dissuade someone from being frank with the president. She worked against providing correspondence between Justice Department lawyers and the White House outlining the legal justification for the targeted killing in Yemen of Anwar al-Awlaki, a United States citizen fighting with al-Qaida.

She backed Obama's decision to act unilaterally to get around congressional inaction. With the senate refusing to vote on the president's nominees, she provided the legal reasoning for temporary recess appointments by executive order while the senate was on vacation, though not formally adjourned. The Supreme Court is now considering the president's actions.

Denis McDonough, the president's chief of staff, told the Times that Ruemmler – who is Obama's longest-serving counsel – exerted power in a way that has been "little understood but highly consequential."

Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss described her as an adversary whose word could be trusted.

"Whatever she represented in a meeting with us ended up being exactly what happened," he told the Times. "You never had to question where she was coming from and she never volunteered something she didn’t know. She is very precise but very firm also, and held her own well."

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

GOP's Kirsten Kukowski: 'Very Confident' We'll Win Senate

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 18:42 PM

The GOP is on its way to reclaiming the Senate in November, says Kirsten Kukowski, national press secretary for the Repu . . .

Romney for US President in 2016? Iowa Poll Puts Him on Top

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 18:12 PM

Americans may not be through with Mitt Romney after all.The two-time Republican presidential candidate has repeatedly st . . .

Hillary Clinton to Join Obama at Democratic Party Fundraiser

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 17:53 PM

President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will headline a two-day Democratic National Committee fundraiser next month i . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved