A veteran federal prosecutor from Northern Virginia has been tapped to temporarily oversee the Justice Department division handling the ongoing probe into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Dana Boente’s new assignment as Justice’s acting attorney general for national security comes fast on the heels of his most recent high-profile task: serving as the acting deputy attorney general. Rod Rosenstein was sworn in as Justice’s No. 2 official on Wednesday, freeing Boente of those responsibilities. Boente had also unexpectedly became the acting attorney general for a time earlier this year after the holdover Obama appointee was fired by President Donald Trump.
… Boente will continue to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, a post to which he was confirmed under President Barack Obama in 2015. The office has jurisdiction over the Pentagon, the CIA and other security agencies in Northern Virginia, so it often handles high-profileespionage, leak and terrorism cases — the same kinds of cases overseen by Justice’s National Security Division.
Although well-known and respected in prosecutorial circles, Boente toiled in relative obscurity until late January, when he was abruptly named acting attorney general after Trump fired Obama appointee and deputy attorney general Sally Yates for refusing to defend Trump’s first travel ban executive order in court.