FBI General Counsel Dana Boente has proven to be a key player in the Trump Administration. Few, however, are aware of the many crucial positions he has held—and why he may have held them.
During President Donald Trump’s first two years in office, Boente has served as the Acting Attorney General, Acting Deputy Attorney General, Acting Head of the Justice Department’s (DOJ) National Security Division, and currently serves as the FBI’s General Counsel.
Boente also concurrently served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) from Sept. 23, 2013, to Jan. 28, 2018, a particularly significant assignment as the EDVA often handles significant terrorism, espionage, and public corruption cases. One of the trials of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, took place in an EDVA court and the recently unsealed affidavit against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was filed in the district during Boente’s tenure. If Assange is extradited, his trial will take place in an EDVA courtroom.
To more fully understand Boente’s role, we need to go back to Jan. 13, 2017, when President Barack Obama issued a last-minute executive order that altered the line of succession within the DOJ.