WHITE HOUSE SAYS LEGAL COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STEP DOWN!

As White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler guides the president’s decisions on issues ranging from the war on terrorism to Cabinet and judicial nominations to immigration policy. (Pat Sullivan/AP )

White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler plans to leave by the end of the year to return to private practice. (Pat Sullivan/AP )

Kathryn Ruemmler, who as White House counsel has become a trusted member of President Obama’s inner circle, plans to leave by the end of the year to return to private practice, a White House official confirmed Wednesday morning.

Ruemmler has told Obama she intends to leave government service and move to New York, the official said. Ruemmler has served in the administration since the start of Obama’s presidency — first as principal associate deputy attorney general, the third-ranking official at the Justice Department, and later in the White House, as deputy counsel and later counsel.

News of Ruemmler’s departure was first reported Wednesday morning by Politico’s Playbook.

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