Report: Obama's legal counsel delays exit

White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, who serves as the president's attorney and a top legal adviser, is delaying her exit from the White House.

Reummler had been expected to leave the administration by the end of the year, but The Associated Press reported Wednesday that, following a conversation with President Obama, she agreed to stay on until spring.

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Announcing her scheduled departure in September, White House press secretary Jay Carney heralded Reummler as "an enormous asset and a very important advisor to the president."

An administration veteran who was promoted from deputy White House counsel in 2011, Reummler had planned to move back to New York City and return to private practice.

Ruemmler, a former prosecutor, has been a top player in developing administration policy on issues ranging from immigration policy to the war on terror. 

She came under particular scrutiny earlier this year as the White House juggled a series of controversies. Each time she played a central role in the administration's response.

When an IRS audit found that the tax collection agency had been targeting conservative political groups, it was Ruemmler's decision not to tell the president about the findings in an attempt to shield Obama from charges he interfered in the investigation.

She also advised the president to resist congressional demands to release draft talking points following last year's attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, infuriating congressional Republicans.

In 2011, Ruemmler also provoked congressional ire when she sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee flatly stating there was no evidence the White House helped failed green-energy company Solyndra win a government loan on behalf of a campaign donor.

Ruemmler also advised the president against disclosing details of the administration's drone program, including the targeted killing of American citizen and al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. At the time, Ruemmler cautioned that disclosures would weaken the government's position in pending legislation by civil rights groups and journalists seeking more information about drone strikes.

Obama did eventually disclose al-Awlaki's killing, as well as the legal justification and procedures for drone strikes.

Ruemmler was also the person who informed the president and his then-chief of staff, Jack Lew, that his signature healthcare law had been upheld by the Supreme Court in a ruling last June. 

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