Donald Trump Jeff Sessions
Trump still has to fill nearly 2,000 vacancies
02:33 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

John Sullivan has a national security background

Nearly 2,000 administration positions remain open

Washington CNN  — 

President Donald Trump has nominated attorney John Sullivan to serve as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s deputy, the White House announced Tuesday.

Sullivan is a partner at Mayer Brown in Washington and co-chairs the law firm’s national security practice. His nomination to the No. 2 spot at the State Department would fill one of the key national security positions still vacant as Democrats slow-walk the President’s nominees.

Sullivan previously served as chairman of the United States-Iraq Business Dialogue, a government advisory committee that dealt with US-Iraq economic relations. He also held senior positions at the Justice, Defense, and Commerce departments, including as deputy secretary and general counsel at Commerce, deputy general counsel at Defense and counselor to Assistant Attorney General J. Michael Luttig.

The White House also announced that the President has nominated John Mitnick to be general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security, Gilbert Kaplan to be undersecretary of commerce for international trade, and Marshall Billingslea to be assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the Treasury Department.

Mitnick is a senior vice president at the conservative Heritage Foundation, while Kaplan is an attorney with King and Spalding’s International Trade Group and Billingslea is managing director of business intelligence services for Deloitte Advisory, focusing on illicit finance.

The nominations come after criticism of the White House for the slow pace of nominations. Trump still needs to fill nearly 2,000 appointed positions – including some key deputy spots – and several Cabinet positions still await Senate confirmation.

Trump’s pace of deputy appointments lags behind his predecessors, according a tracker from the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that focuses on good governance, and The Washington Post.

CNN’s Tal Kopan contributed to this report