Dana Boente, the acting head of the Justice Department’s national security division and the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has been picked to become the new FBI general counsel, according to a source familiar with the move.
Boente was first thrust into the spotlight in January 2017 as the acting attorney general after President Donald Trump fired Sally Yates for her refusal to defend the first travel ban. He later moved to the No. 2 spot at the Justice Department as acting deputy attorney general, tasked with overseeing the Russia probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself and then delivering the news to a slew of US attorneys left over from the Obama administration that they had been fired.
He will take the place of James Baker, who was reassigned within the FBI late last year.
In October, Boente, a career prosecutor, announced his plans to step down upon Senate confirmation of his successors. In November, CNN reported Boente had privately been in talks for several weeks about a variety of other law enforcement positions within the administration that he might be interested in taking after his successors are confirmed, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.
The Washington Post first reported Boente’s selection as the new FBI general counsel.