Dane Boente, one of the most powerful U.S. attorneys in the country who has also served as a top official in President Trump’s Justice Department, is stepping down, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
As U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Boente has overseen a number of key investigations and prosecutions, and the office has been involved in the federal Russian election meddling investigation. A number of national security agencies sit in the Eastern District, putting his office at the center of many terrorism cases. Boente is also the acting assistant attorney general of the National Security Division of the Justice Department.
After Sally Yates was fired from her role as acting Attorney General for refusing to defend Trump’s travel ban, Boente served in that role temporarily as well. He also served as acting deputy attorney general in the early days of the Trump administration.
According to the Post’s report, he will not leave that until the official Trump’s pick for assistant attorney general of the National Security Division, John C. Demers, is confirmed. Trump has not yet nominated someone to succeed Boente as U.S. Attorney the Eastern District of Virginia.
Trump has reportedly been interviewing personally potential U.S. attorney nominees for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, both of which are also conducting investigations into Trump associates. For the President to get personally involved in that interview process is very uncommon, and has attracted criticism from Democrats.