FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, who has been under political pressure to remove top officials at the bureau, is filling two senior positions previously held by people who served under former director James B. Comey.
Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia who is acting head of the Justice Department’s national security division, has been selected to be the FBI’s next general counsel, according to three people familiar with the matter. He replaces James Baker, who was reassigned late last year.
Boente is a veteran federal prosecutor who has led multiple U.S. attorneys offices around the country and has risen to prominence in a variety of acting roles in the Trump administration. When President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates over her refusal to defend his travel ban, Boente took over and said he would defend the measure.
When Jeff Sessions was sworn in to the job, Boente became the deputy attorney general, and after that, the head of the national security division.
Boente’s move to the FBI is notable because some might view him as a Trump loyalist who has shown himself willing to go along with the president’s controversial agenda. Because he is a political appointee, he will have to clear some hurdles before taking a career position. Boente, though, is a respected law enforcement figure who has not been overtly political. He was appointed as a U.S. attorney under President Obama.