White House Counsel

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White House Counsel
W. Neil Eggleston

since June 1, 2014
Formation 1943
First holder Samuel Irving Rosenman

The White House Counsel is a staff appointee of the President of the United States whose role is to advise the President on all legal issues concerning the President and his/her Administration. The current White House Counsel is W. Neil Eggleston.


The Office of Counsel to the President was created in 1943, and is responsible for advising on all legal aspects of policy questions, legal issues arising in connection with the President's decision to sign or veto legislation, ethical questions, financial disclosures, and conflicts of interest during employment and post employment. The Counsel's Office also helps define the line between official and political activities, oversees executive appointments and judicial selection, handles Presidential pardons, reviews legislation and Presidential statements, and handles lawsuits against the President in his role as President, as well as serving as the White House contact for the Department of Justice.


Although the White House Counsel offers legal advice to the President, the Counsel does so in the President's official capacity, and does not serve as the President's personal attorney. Therefore, controversy has emerged over the scope of the attorney–client privilege between the Counsel and the President. It is clear, however, that the privilege does not apply in personal matters, such as impeachment proceedings; thus, in such situations the President relies on a personal attorney for confidential legal advice.

List of White House Counsels

Counsel President Years
Samuel Irving Rosenman Franklin Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman 1943 – 1946
Clark M. Clifford Harry S. Truman 1946 – 1950
Charles S. Murphy Harry S. Truman 1950 – 1953
Thomas E. Stephens Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953
Bernard M. Shanley Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953 – 1955
Gerald D. Morgan Dwight D. Eisenhower 1955 – 1958
David W. Kendall Dwight D. Eisenhower 1958 – 1961
Theodore Sorensen John F. Kennedy 1961 – 1963
Myer Feldman Lyndon Johnson 1963 – 1965
Harry McPherson Lyndon Johnson 1965 – 1969
Milton Serner Lyndon Johnson 1965 – 1966
Larry Eugene Temple Lyndon Johnson 1967 – 1969
Charles Colson Richard Nixon 1969 – 1973
John Ehrlichman Richard Nixon 1969 – 1970
John Dean Richard Nixon 1970 – 1973
Leonard Garment Richard Nixon 1973 – 1974
William E. Casselman II Gerald Ford 1974 – 1975
Philip W. Buchen Gerald Ford 1974 – 1977
Robert Lipshutz Jimmy Carter 1977 – 1979
Lloyd Cutler Jimmy Carter 1979 – 1981
Fred Fielding Ronald Reagan 1981 – 1986
Peter J. Wallison Ronald Reagan 1986 – 1987
Arthur Culvahouse Ronald Reagan 1987 – 1989
C. Boyden Gray George H.W. Bush 1989 – 1993
Bernard W. Nussbaum Bill Clinton 1993 – 1994
Lloyd Cutler Bill Clinton 1994
Abner J. Mikva Bill Clinton 1994 – 1995
Jack Quinn Bill Clinton 1995 – 1996
Charles F.C. Ruff Bill Clinton 1997 – 1999
Beth Nolan Bill Clinton 1999 – 2001
Alberto Gonzales George W. Bush 2001 – 2005
Harriet Miers George W. Bush 2005 – 2007
Fred Fielding George W. Bush 2007 – 2009
Greg Craig Barack Obama 2009 – 2010
Robert Bauer Barack Obama 2010 – 2011
Kathryn Ruemmler Barack Obama 2011 – 2014
W. Neil Eggleston Barack Obama 2014 – Present


External links