Gregory Craig, Guantanamo Bay, Musical Chairs, Politics, White House Counsel, Williams & Connolly

Musical Chairs: Greg Craig Out as White House Counsel, Bob Bauer In

Gregory Craig Gregory B Craig Greg Craig Williams Connolly Above the Law Blog.jpgThe rumors circulated back in August, but now it looks like it’s finally happening. From Marc Ambinder, shortly before 11 on Thursday night:

Sources in government say that White House Counsel Gregory Craig has decided to resign, and that the president’s personal lawyer, Robert Bauer, will take his place. A formal announcement is slated next week, though word might drop tomorrow.

Looks like that announcement is getting sped up. More after the jump.
UPDATE: Greg Craig’s resignation letter, also after the jump.

From the New York Times, within the past hour:

The White House counsel, Gregory B. Craig, has told associates that he intends to step down from his post on Friday, putting to rest long-running speculation about whether he would remain as President Obama’s top lawyer.

Mr. Craig had been at the center of controversial decisions over whether to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as revising administration policies on the interrogation and detention of prisoners. For months, questions have circulated inside the White House about his status, but an official said early Friday that Mr. Craig had made the decision to resign.

Political infighting and palace intrigue, for $172,200 a year? Maybe Greg Craig will return to Williams & Connolly, where he earned about ten times as much in 2008.

Robert Bauer, a Democratic lawyer in Washington who has represented Mr. Obama for years, has agreed to be named to the position of White House counsel, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision was not scheduled to be made public until later Friday.

Good luck to Bob Bauer in his new position. It sounds like he has his work cut out for him. Dealing with the problem of Gitmo is a thankless task.
UPDATE: Greg Craig’s resignation letter appears below.
Also, with respect to the Guantanamo issue, it’s not clear how much Bauer will have to deal with it; that portfolio was transferred to President Obama’s senior adviser, Pete Rouse, earlier this fall. (But Bauer as White House Counsel will certainly have some say on the future of U.S. detention policy.)
A New White House Counsel: Robert Bauer [The Atlantic Politics Channel / Marc Ambinder]
Craig Steps Down as White House Lawyer [New York Times]
White House counsel poised to give up post [Washington Post]
Greg Craig resignation letter Gregory Craig Gregory B Craig.jpg

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