Obama Justice Department Nominee Withdraws, Obama Accepts

Fox News has learned that President Obama's pick to head the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department has withdrawn her name from consideration for the post and the President has accepted it.

"Her credentials are exemplary and her commitment to the rule of law has been proven time and again, but it is now clear that Senate Republicans will not allow her to be confirmed," White House Spokesman Ben LaBolt tells Fox News.

"After years of politicization of the Office during the previous administration, the President believes it is time for the Senate to move beyond politics and allow the Office of Legal Counsel to serve the role it was intended to - to provide impartial legal advice and constitutional analysis to the executive branch. He will work now to identify a replacement and call on the Senate to move swiftly to confirm that nominee in order to achieve those goals," he added.

Johnsen also cited politics as the reason behind her withdrawal, "Restoring OLC to its best nonpartisan traditions was my primary objective for my anticipated service in this administration. Unfortunately, my nomination has met with lengthy delays and political opposition that threaten that objective and prevent OLC from functioning at full strength. I hope that the withdrawal of my nomination will allow this important office to be filled promptly," Johnsen said in a statement released through the White House.

It was the OLC that infamously gave the legal go-ahead for some of the Bush administration's controversial interrogations of terrorist detainees. And it was Johnsen's criticism of those interrogations that drove Senate Republicans to object to her nomination.

The Bush OLC was later determined by the Justice Department not to have engaged in professional misconduct. Rather, it was a result of poor judgement, the DoJ said.

Though Johnsen passed through committee, it was via a party-line vote, and her nomination never got a vote on the Senate floor.

The President intends to pick a new nominee in short order, though, with the announcement of Justice Stevens's pending retirement from the Supreme Court today, that may be a bit more difficult.

Fox Correspondent Shannon Bream contributed to this report.