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White House announces change in legal counsel's office

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • White House Counsel Bob Bauer is stepping down at the end of June
  • Bauer will be replaced by Kathryn Ruemmler, who currently serves as his deputy
  • Ruemmler is a former federal prosecutor who helped in the prosecution of Enron executives
  • Bauer will serve as general counsel for Obama's re-election campaign and the DNC

Washington (CNN) -- White House Counsel Bob Bauer is leaving to return to private practice at the end of June, when current Principal Deputy Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler will take his place, the White House said Thursday.

Ruemmler has served as Bauer's deputy since January 2010. She joined the administration in January 2009 as the principal associate deputy attorney general at the Justice Department.

"Kathy is an outstanding lawyer with impeccable judgment," President Obama said in a written statement. "Together, Bob and Kathy have led the White House Counsel's office, and Kathy will assure that it continues to successfully manage its wide variety of responsibilities."

Ruemmler, a former federal prosecutor, was also a litigation partner in the Washington office of Latham & Watkins from 2007 to 2009.

During her time as a prosecutor, she played a lead role in the prosecution of former Enron executives.

Bauer will return to the firm of Perkins Coie, where he will serve as general counsel to both Obama's re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

He will also serve as the president's personal lawyer, the White House said.