White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton and top White House aide Sean Sweeney are leaving to form their own political consulting firm.
Burton, a spokesman, and Sweeney, an aide to former Chiefs of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Pete Rouse, first worked together at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 cycle. Burton was communications director and Sweeney was political director during the cycle, when Democrats took control of the House.
Burton joined then-Sen. Barack Obama in January 2007, then worked on his 2008 presidential race. Previously he worked on then-Rep. Richard Gephardt’s (D-Mo.) presidential race in 2004 and for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and former Rep. Bill Luther (D-Minn.).
Sweeney worked for Emanuel in the House and as a political adviser to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) Senate campaign.
In an e-mail to friends and reporters, Burton said he’s hoping to spend more time with his family and will release details about the new firm in the near future.
“I am going to partner with Sean Sweeney to start a firm focused on political and strategic consulting,” he wrote. “We will have a more specific announcement in coming weeks once we figure out things like name, location and where one buys those comfy ergonomic office chairs.”
Separately, White House press aide Katie Hogan said Wednesday that she is also leaving her job on Friday. Hogan, who has worked for Obama for four years, said she has no plans except to take the next few months off to decompress.
The news came on the same day new White House Press Secretary Jay Carney held his first briefing.
Jennifer Bendery contributed to this report.
Correction: Feb. 16, 2011
The article originally said Pete Rouse was the current White House chief of staff.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.