Pelosi announces former DOJ official as new House general counsel

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who is slated to take over as Speaker next month, announced Friday that former Justice Department official Douglas Letter will succeed Thomas Hungar as general counsel of the House of Representatives come January.

The House general counsel is responsible for providing nonpartisan legal advice and assistance to lawmakers, committees and staffers. They also provide legal representation for the lower chamber in the case of litigation.

"Douglas Letter has an outstanding and highly decorated record of achievement in service of America," Pelosi said in a statement. "He will bring deep experience and legal expertise to the House, as he counsels and represents our institution, Members and staff as House General Counsel."

Letter - who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley Law School - currently serves as a senior litigator at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he also teaches law. Prior to that, he served as the director of the Civil Division appellate staff at the Department of Justice.

"I look forward to serving the interests of the House of Representatives and its Members," Letter said in a statement Friday. "I am eager to apply my litigation experience as I take on the challenges and opportunities that come with the important position of House General Counsel."