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White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain plans to resign

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Ron Klain, President Biden’s chief of staff, plans to step down in the coming weeks after playing a pivotal role in leading the administration through its first two years, according to two people familiar with his plans.

Klain’s departure will mark a major turning point in Biden’s tenure as he will become the first member of Biden’s inner circle to leave the White House. His departure also comes as Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, with plans to launch a series of investigations into the administration, and as Biden is expected to launch his re-election campaign within weeks.

Klain, whose plans were first reported by the New York Times, has not set an official departure date. He has told colleagues he will remain in office through the Feb. 7 State of the Union address and will help transition to his successor, people said, asking for anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Candidates to succeed Klain include Jeff Zients, who coordinated the government’s response to the coronavirus; Anita Dunn, a senior advisor; and Steve Ricchetti, who served as Biden’s chief of staff as vice president and now serves as Biden’s adviser.

Neither Klain nor the White House immediately responded to a request for comment.

Klain, 61, became White House chief of staff after serving in the same role for Biden early in his vice presidency and holding other senior positions in the Obama and Clinton administrations. In the Biden White House, he rose to become one of the most powerful chiefs of staff in decades, with a voracious work ethic and a constant flow of tweets.

Klain is credited with leading much of Biden’s legislative and political success over the past two years. His departure comes on the heels of a particularly successful trajectory for Biden, including a better-than-expected interim result for the Democrats and a string of legislative victories, including a broad social spending bill, a massive investment in the domestic semiconductor industry and gun safety legislation. .

But Klain’s resignation also comes as special counsel begins investigating the handling of classified documents found in Biden’s Wilmington home and his Washington private office, potentially casting a shadow over the early months of Biden’s second half. tenure.

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