Karl Thompson '00 Named Head of DOJ Office of Legal Counsel

White House Fills Top Post at Justice Department

The Obama administration has selected Karl Remón Thompson, a counselor to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., as acting head of the Justice Department’s powerful Office of Legal Counsel, the once-obscure agency that has become more prominent amid the highly charged legal policy disputes in the war against Al Qaeda.

Because it has proved politically difficult to win Senate confirmation for the position of assistant attorney general for the office, it is possible that Mr. Thompson will serve as its acting head for the remainder of President Obama’s second term. The role may give Mr. Thompson extraordinary behind-the-scenes power over government policies.

“During his five years with the department, Karl has distinguished himself as a lawyer of unparalleled intellect and integrity,” Mr. Holder said in a statement. “His guidance has helped the department navigate some of the toughest legal challenges of this administration. I’m grateful that he has agreed to lead the Office of Legal Counsel and look forward to continuing to rely on his superb judgment as he assumes this new role.”

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