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Pelosi Picks Irv Nathan As New House General Counsel

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has announced that she will appoint Irv Nathan, a senior partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter. Nathan will take over for Geraldine Gennet, the long-time counsel, next month.

According to Pelosi's office, Nathan 'previously served in the Department of Justice as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Enforcement in the Criminal Division. He also served as Minority Counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and senior counsel for the House Judiciary Committee. He currently serves, by appointment of the D.C. Court of Appeals, as the Vice Chair of the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility."

Pelosi said in a statement that Nathan "has an outstanding reputation and record of accomplishment in private practice and in government service" Pelosi said. "As House General Counsel, he will counsel and represent the House, Members and staff in connection with litigation and other legal matters."

What is doesn't say in the statement is that Nathan has been involved with Arnold & Porter's contract  work on behalf of House Judiciary Committee Democrats and their investigation of the U.S. attorney firing scandal, which may not pl

It also doesn't note the challenges that Nathan will face in balancing the institutional needs of the House when confronted with federal criminal probes of sitting lawmakers, such as the raid on Rep. William Jefferson's (D-La.) office in the Rayburn House Office Building. Or the ongoing probes into GOP Reps. John Doolittle (Calif.), Rick Renzi (Ariz.), Don Young (Alaska) and Jerry Lewis (Calif.), among others. This is a very difficult assignment Nathan has been handled in taking over the non-partisan office.

The well-respected Gennet served as general counsel for a decade, serving under three different speakers. She has not announced what her future plans are at this time.