Under Fire, President Obama’s Pick for Army Job Bows Out

By Evan Harris

Jun 13, 2009 10:01am

Late on Friday, Donald Remy withdrew his name as President Obama's nominee to be General Counsel of the Army after coming under fire for not disclosing in a work history for the Senate Armed Services Committee that he worked for embattled mortgage giant Fannie Mae.

"Regretfully, I have decided to remove my name from consideration for this position," Remy wrote to President Obama. "It was an honor to be nominated by you and I extend my good wishes to you, your administration and all of the exceptional men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families."

Earlier this week Remy met privately with some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee about their concerns that he had not been fully forthcoming in revealing that he had been a senior official at Fannie Mae. Remy, who worked for Fannie Mae from 2000 through 2006, instead characterized his former employer in a document given to the committee as a "'major U.S. company," though he listed the names of other employers.

Two Republicans on the committee, Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Mel Martinez of Florida, expressed concerns about what Martinez described as Remy's "lack of candor," and said they wanted to know more about Remy's responsibilities at Fannie Mae, which in 2006 disclosed billions of dollars in accounting errors.

"The President believes that Donald Remy would have been an excellent General Counsel of the Army," said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor, "but understands his personal decision and the choice he has made. Donald has given to the nation many times and continues to demonstrate his duty to country above all things."

An administration source pointed out that Remy fully disclosed his tenure at Fannie Mae in other documents provided to the committee, including his Senate Armed Services Committee Questionnaire, his National Security Questionnaire and his Public Financial Disclosure Report.

Prior to his time at Fannie Mae, Remy served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Justice Department. He is currently a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP.

- jpt

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