President Joe Biden’s administration has been rocked by revelations that the president stored classified documents at his Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement as well as his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
However, another disruption came this past week when it was reported that White House chief of staff Ron Klain is stepping down.
A New York Times article published on Saturday cited unnamed senior administration officials as saying that Klain “has been telling colleagues privately since the November midterm elections” that he is planning to depart.
The anonymous sources did not indicate what date a public announcement is to be made. However, they suggested that it will come at some point following the president’s February 7 State of the Union address.
They did not say whether a new chief of staff has already been selected but stressed that Klain will likely remain for a period of time in order to help his successor transition into the role.
The transition process will no doubt be challenging given how Attorney General Merrick Garland recently tapped former U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur to serve as special counsel in reviewing Biden’s handling of classified material.
“This appointment underscores for the public the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters, and to making decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law,” Garland said in a press release earlier this month.
“I am confident that Mr. Hur will carry out his responsibility in an even-handed and urgent manner, and in accordance with the highest traditions of this Department,” he added.
The documents scandal deepened when Fox News reported on Saturday that a search of Biden’s home uncovered yet another trove of classified material.
What’s more, the 2024 presidential campaign is expected to kick off soon, and Biden has expressed a desire to run again.
Among the possible candidates to replace Klain are Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh, former Delaware Gov. Jack A. Markell, senior White House adviser Anita Dunn, presidential counselor Steven J. Ricchetti, COVID response coordinator Jeffrey D. Zients, domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The Times noted that none of the potential replacements responded to a request for comment while Dunn reportedly told colleagues that she has no interest in taking the job.
For his part, Klain retweeted a midterm election commercial on Friday which touted the administration’s accomplishments.
Two hard years. So much to be done. But so much progress. https://t.co/XurbtjPEsq
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) January 20, 2023