President Barack Obama’s Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn Johnsen withdrew her nomination Friday.
Here are statements issued on Friday by Johnsen and White House spokesman Ben LaBolt.
Statement from Johnsen:
“I am deeply honored that President Obama, the Attorney General and a strong majority of the U.S. Senate have demonstrated faith and confidence in my ability to lead the Office of Legal Counsel. OLC plays a critical role in upholding the rule of law and must provide advice unvarnished by politics or partisan ambition. That was my guiding principle when I had the privilege to lead OLC in a past administration. Restoring OLC to its best nonpartisan traditions was my primary objective for my anticipated service in this administration. Unfortunately, my nomination has met with lengthy delays and political opposition that threaten that objective and prevent OLC from functioning at full strength. I hope that the withdrawal of my nomination will allow this important office to be filled promptly.”
Statement from LaBolt:
“The President accepted Professor Johnsen’s request today to withdraw her nomination. In selecting Dawn Johnsen, the President nominated a highly-respected constitutional scholar who previously served for 5 years at the Office of Legal Counsel. Her credentials are exemplary and her commitment to the rule of law has been proven time and again, but it is now clear that Senate Republicans will not allow her to be confirmed. After years of politicization of the Office during the previous administration, the President believes it is time for the Senate to move beyond politics and allow the Office of Legal Counsel to serve the role it was intended to – to provide impartial legal advice and constitutional analysis to the executive branch. He will work now to identify a replacement and call on the Senate to move swiftly to confirm that nominee in order to achieve those goals.”