White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is reportedly planning to step down from his position in the coming weeks, a move that would have a significant impact on the administration.
Klain has been privately telling some over the last couple of months that he has had enough of the intense work that is required in the position and that he’s ready for something else, according to The New York Times.
The Times’ sources would not disclose whether a replacement has already been picked or when a possible announcement may happen, the report said.
The report noted that the move comes as the 80-year-old president is expected to announce in the coming months that he will run for a second term in office.
The report said that some of the top choices to replace Klain included Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh; former Gov. Jack A. Markell of Delaware, now serving as ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; Steven J. Ricchetti, the counselor to the president; Jeffrey D. Zients, the administration’s former coronavirus response coordinator; Susan Rice, the White House domestic policy adviser; and Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture.
The report of Klain’s departure comes as the administration gears up to face mounting legal and political scrutiny over the next two years after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives and Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate Biden over classified documents that were found in one of his private offices and in his home.
Classified documents connected with Biden were first found in his private office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C., on November 2, less than a week before the 2022 midterm elections. Since then, Biden’s attorneys have located more classified documents at Biden’s home in Wilmington on three separate occasions: an unspecified number found in the garage on December 20, one document found in Biden’s study on January 11, and five more found in the study on January 12.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur — who served during the Trump administration — to serve as special counsel in the investigation after the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, who was assigned to do an initial review of the case, recommended to Garland that a special counsel be appointed.
The Department of Justice reportedly declined to assign FBI agents to monitor the search of Biden’s home under a mutual agreement reached with Biden’s personal attorneys. Department officials reportedly believed that FBI supervision would overly complicate the federal investigation into classified documents related to Biden, and that the supervision was unnecessary with Biden’s cooperation.
Biden responded to the scandal by saying that he has “no regrets” over his actions and that getting questions about the investigation “quite frankly bugs” him.
“We’re fully cooperating, looking forward to getting this resolved quickly,” Biden claimed. “I think you’re gonna find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do — that’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s no there, there.”
Tim Pearce contributed to this report.