By Kaitlan Collins, MJ Lee and Jeff Zeleny, CNN
Updated: Fri, 22 Apr 2022 20:48:16 GMT
With seven months still to go before the midterm elections, the White House is preparing a slew of personnel moves as officials brace for a potential Republican takeover on Capitol Hill in November.
The GOP has promised to be aggressive with its investigations of President Joe Biden should Republicans regain control of the House and the Senate.
One of Biden's closest advisers, Anita Dunn, is expected to return to the West Wing. Dunn, a veteran Washington consultant and prominent member of Biden's inner circle, previously worked in the administration on a short-term basis that exempted her from financial disclosures. While the details of her return are still being finalized, Dunn is expected to return in a full-time capacity this time, sources familiar with the matter say.
Dunn is expected to begin her formal work back in the administration long before the midterms. While her return is not solely because of potential oversight investigations into Biden and his policies, she is known as one of his fiercest defenders and political strategists, as the White House intensifies its role in Democratic House and Senate campaigns.
Changes are also expected inside the White House Counsel's Office. Ian Sams, who currently works at the Department of Health and Human Services, is going to join in a communications position. He previously served as a spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris' 2020 presidential campaign, where he developed a reputation for being outspoken and at times for having a combative style, traits that could be useful while facing aggressive inquiries from Republicans.
The personnel moves, first reported by The Washington Post, come as the White House has been preparing for months for the possibility of Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives -- and possibly the Senate -- after the midterms, a source familiar told CNN. The expectation, and concern, within the West Wing is that an emboldened GOP will spend a considerable amount of time and energy on oversight of the Biden administration starting next Congress.
"If Republicans take one or more Houses of Congress, this is going to be a full-time job that has the potential to suck a lot of the oxygen out of the room," the person said. "There is a recognition from both the White House counsel's office and also the communication's office that oversight is going to be a major focus of Republican efforts which is going to in turn create a lot of media attention around these issues."