White House beefs up legal team

A veteran Washington attorney who aided the administration's response to the botched ObamaCare rollout is joining the White House.

Jennifer O'Conner, a former partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, left the firm in May 2013 to assist acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel with a controversy surrounding the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.

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She is the first hire by new White House counsel Neil Eggleston.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz confirmed O’Connor’s hiring in a Twitter message on Friday. She previously served as an aide to former Clinton deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes.

“Jen brings talent, prudence and pragmatism to this role and we are pleased that she will continue her government service in the White House Counsel’s Office,” Eggleston told the Legal Times, which first reported the hire. “Jen has the experience, judgment and foresight to make her uniquely qualified for this position.”

O'Conner will take over the portfolio of Ed Siskel, a former constitutional law student of President Obama who departed the White House in April. Siskel, the nephew of Gene Siskel, the famous Chicago film critic, handled legal issues for the president stemming from the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, and the bankruptcy of green-energy company Solyndra.

Eggleston joined the White House earlier this month, taking over for longtime Obama attorney and adviser Kathy Ruemmler.