Skip to Content

Key Biden lawyer Richard Sauber to depart White House in May

By MJ Lee, CNN

Washington (CNN) — Richard Sauber, the White House lawyer who battled an onslaught of highly politicized Republican congressional inquiries and a special counsel investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents, plans to leave the administration in early May.

Sauber, who has been in his role of special counsel to the president since May 2022, is expected to return to private practice. Rachel Cotton, a senior counsel at the White House Counsel’s Office who has served as Sauber’s deputy, will replace him.

Sauber’s expected departure comes on the heels of the conclusion of special counsel Robert Hur’s probe into Biden’s handling of classified documents. While Hur concluded that criminal charges against the president were not warranted, his more than 300-page report was highly controversial, in no small part because of its many references to the president’s alleged memory problems.

In his role as White House counsel, Sauber emerged as a key White House voice to publicly excoriate Hur’s conclusions.

As Biden’s special counsel, Sauber has also overseen the White House’s legal strategy amid Republican lawmakers’ months-long efforts to impeach the president. That mission appeared to crumble earlier this year, after an ex-FBI informant with ties to Russia was charged with giving false information to the FBI – lies that were at the very foundation of Republicans’ bribery allegations leveled against Biden and his family.

While Sauber had always expected to eventually return to the private sector, both the conclusion of the Hur investigation and the seeming political collapse of the GOP impeachment inquiry into Biden created a natural opening for his exit, a White House official told CNN. The White House counsel’s office’s work to fend off House GOP efforts to investigate the president will continue under Cotton, who will now inherit from Sauber the official title of “special counsel to the president” and a team of about half a dozen lawyers that focus on oversight issues related to the White House.

While the votes appear to be lacking in the House GOP conference to impeach the president, lawmakers have floated a variety of ideas in the past for possible oversight investigation into the president, his administration and his family.

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients said in a statement provided to CNN for this story: “Dick has provided invaluable counsel to the President as we have navigated complex legal issues over the past two years, and even at times of pressure, he always approached his work with a wicked sense of humor and a wisdom to see around corners.”

Sauber was one of the numerous hires that the Biden White House made in 2022 as it prepared to face a blitz of oversight inquiries from House Republicans.

Then in January 2023, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of a special counsel to examine Biden’s past handling of classified documents – an investigation that, to the exasperation of many inside the White House, would drag on for 13 months.

Sauber has also been in close coordination with Department of Homeland Security officials on House Republicans’ impeachment of Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

White House counsel Ed Siskel described Cotton as the “perfect person” to replace Sauber, citing her “years of experience working on these issues, and her wisdom and leadership.”

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content