Political News

Acting head of DOJ's national security division retiring

Posted October 27, 2017 1:54 p.m. EDT

— Dana Boente, a career federal prosecutor who has worn many hats in the Trump administration, including most recently serving as the acting head of the Justice Department's national security division and US attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia, is retiring, according to sources with knowledge of his departure.

Boente was first thrust into the spotlight as the acting attorney general in January after President Donald Trump fired the former acting head, Sally Yates, for her refusal to defend Trump's first travel ban.

Later in April, he was tapped to serve as the interim head of the national security division -- a post that oversees DOJ's work on counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyberthreat work, including the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.

"Dana Boente has been a dedicated public servant for decades and has served in important leadership roles in the Department of Justice," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement at the time. "In recent months, he has provided extraordinary leadership during the transition period."

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment on personnel matters, but sources tell CNN that Boente's retirement had been in the works for some time and he will stay in his posts until his replacements are confirmed by the Senate.

Boente began his career with the Justice Department in 1984 with the tax division and was later appointed US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia by President Barack Obama in 2015.

Trump nominated Boeing in-house counsel, John Demers, to lead the national security division permanently in September. Demers was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month and will appear before the Senate intelligence committee for a confirmation hearing next week.