Pentagon general counsel resigns

Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson has resigned, effective Dec. 31, to return to private practice.

Johnson was a member of President Obama’s transition team following the 2008 election and was appointed to be the Defense Department’s top lawyer in 2009.

In a resignation letter sent to the president Thursday, Johnson thanked Obama for the opportunity to be part of his campaign, transition team and administration.

“Thank you also for the best clients I will ever have: Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, and the men and women of the U.S. military,” Johnson wrote.

Johnson has served as a federal prosecutor and trial lawyer in New York, and as the general counsel for the Air Force.

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