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White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler leaving for private practice

Kathryn Ruemmler, who as White House counsel has become a trusted member of President Obama's inner circle, plans to leave by the end of the year to return to private practice, a White House official confirmed Wednesday morning.

Ruemmler has told Obama she intends to leave government service and move to New York, the official said. Ruemmler has served in the administration since the start of Obama's presidency -- first as principal associate deputy attorney general, the third-ranking official at the Justice Department, and later in the White House, as deputy counsel and later counsel.