Report: House General Counsel Will Step Down

Posted December 15, 2010 at 8:38pm

House General Counsel Irvin Nathan has reportedly submitted his letter of resignation, becoming the first of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s appointees to do so since the GOP won the House majority in November.

Nathan will pursue other opportunities that could include returning to the private sector or academia, the Legal Times reported Wednesday. He previously taught at Georgetown University Law Center.

Deputy General Counsel Kerry Kircher referred questions to the Speaker’s office, and neither Nathan nor representatives for Pelosi could be reached for comment to confirm the report.

The California Democrat selected Nathan in 2007 to head the office responsible for representing Members and staff in court.

Democrats at the time called him the most qualified candidate to lead the office, but some Republicans decried Nathan as a partisan choice. The criticism was based on his work as senior counsel for the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the firing of seven U.S. attorneys during President George W. Bush’s administration.

“I’m disappointed that the Democrats picked someone who was so partisan,” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, said at the time.

Nathan’s resignation clears the way for Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) to install a House general counsel of his choice.