President Biden on Tuesday named Ed Siskel as the new White House counsel, tapping the former Obama administration official for the role as the White House faces GOP investigations and legal challenges to multiple policies.
Siskel served in the White House counsel’s office during the Obama administration, rising to the level of deputy counsel. During that time, he helped oversee the administration’s response to the Benghazi and Solyndra investigations.
Siskel replaces Stuart Delery, who spent roughly a year in the role of White House counsel.
“Ed Siskel’s many years of experience in public service and a career defending the rule of law make him the perfect choice to serve as my next White House Counsel,” Biden said in a Tuesday statement.
“For nearly four years in the White House when I was Vice President, he helped the Counsel’s Office navigate complex challenges and advance the President’s agenda on behalf of the American people, and first as a federal prosecutor and then as the top counsel for one of America’s biggest and most vibrant cities, his hometown of Chicago, Ed has shown a deep commitment to public service and respect for the law,” Biden added. “His experience will let him hit the ground running as a key leader on my team as we continue making progress for the American people every day.”
Siskel will be tasked with crafting policies and executive actions that can withstand legal challenges, with the latter being particularly important given the divided Congress is unlikely to pass major pieces of Biden’s agenda.
A Biden executive order forgiving up to $10,000 in student loan debt, for example, quickly faced legal challenges and was struck down by the Supreme Court, and other executive orders around debt forgiveness or guns are also likely to face legal challenges.
Siskel will also play a key role in handling the response to investigations led by House Republicans into the president’s policies and into his family’s business dealings, both of which are ongoing. Some Republicans have pushed for an impeachment inquiry into Biden, another item that would likely fall under Siskel’s purview.
Siskel, who will officially take over the new job in September, previously served as the top lawyer for then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) and he has spent time in private practice.
Source: The Hill