The White House Counsel is a staff appointee of the President of the United States.
The Office of Counsel to the President was created in 1943, and is responsible for advising on all legal aspects of policy questions, legal issues arising in connection with the President's decision to sign or veto legislation, ethical questions, financial disclosures, and conflicts of interest during employment and post employment. The Counsel's Office also helps define the line between official and political activities, oversees executive appointments and judicial selection, handles Presidential pardons, reviews legislation and Presidential statements, and handles lawsuits against the President in his role as President, as well as serving as the White House contact for the Department of Justice.
Although the White House Counsel offers legal advice to the President, the Counsel does so in the President's official capacity, and does not serve as the President's personal attorney. Therefore, controversy has emerged over the scope of the attorney-client privilege between the Counsel and the President. It is clear, however, that the privilege does not apply in personal matters, such as impeachment proceedings; thus, in such situations the President relies on a personal attorney for confidential legal advice.