Russiagate Open Thread: Whither Dana Boente?

From the Washington Post:

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, and he now might be able to advocate the president’s position inside an institution that is supposed to enjoy independence. 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 Barack Obama…


But then again…


Yr thoughts?

25 replies
  1. 1
    tobie says:

    Holy Smokes! You blink today and there’s another unexpected breaking news item.

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    Also, too:

    Gates may be negotiating with Mueller's team— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 24, 2018

    Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates has quietly added a prominent white-collar attorney, Tom Green, to his defense team, signaling that Gates’ approach to his not-guilty plea could be changing behind the scenes.

    Green, a well-known Washington defense lawyer, was seen at special counsel Robert Mueller’s office twice last week. CNN is told by a source familiar with the matter that Green has joined Gates’ team.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Pulling the wagons into a circle.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    It’s becoming more and more like Kremlinologists poring over photos of the assemblage atop the Kremlin wall.

  5. 5
    Mary G says:

    I like this new tweet:

    Rick Gates is the guy who had to Facetime his appearance at the nearly empty fundraiser his friends tried to throw for him,Poor Rick is under house arrest with legal bills piling up like freshly fallen snow.That tends to make people chatty.Manafort's troubles are deepening.— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) January 24, 2018

    Trump doesn’t believe in paying little people that work for him, you idiot.

  6. 6
  7. 7

    As Adam and I have been saying, there is a very limited number of get out of jail (maybe) cards. Starting to look like Gates may have picked one up.

  8. 8
    Calouste says:

    @Mary G: Flynn basically flipped because even half a million green ones from Turkey couldn’t afford him enough expensive lawyer time. Expensive lawyer time he of course needed partially because of those half a million green ones from Turkey.

  9. 9
    tobie says:

    Surprisingly the Post had this to say about Boente (mostly because he defended Trump’s travel ban):

    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, and he now might be able to advocate the president’s position inside an institution that is supposed to enjoy independence.

    Rybicki is also out. Wray’s either sticking up for the independence of the FBI or doing a purge to please Trump. I’ll let others who know the personalities involved weigh in before arriving at any judgment.

    ETA: With Rybicki’s departure/ouster (???) McCabe’s the last remaining Comey appointee in the senior leadership team of the FBI.

  10. 10
    Chris says:


    I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

  11. 11
    Ruckus says:

    Yr thoughts?
    The noose gets ever tighter when you kick the chair out from under yourself.

  12. 12
    SFAW says:


    WTF? You forgot “Tick tock, motherfuckers.”!!!

    Are you feeling OK?

  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15

    Leaving this here and on Doug’s thread too.

  16. 16
    patrick II says:

    What I learned from Rush Limbaugh today:
    The Deep State’s conspiracy against the republican party goes back a long way. The CIA and other intelligence agency’s assertion that Sadam Hussein’s Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction was a Deep State false information project meant to embarrass the Bush administration and to secretly help Democrats and then get John Kerry elected president. It led to later efforts helping Hillary Clinton by creating a false investigation of Trump asserting his alleged collusion with Russia which was meant to throw the election to Hillary, and after that didn’t work, to discredit Trump.

    Not quite the way I remember it.

  17. 17
    Mike E says:

    @patrick II: As you know, the (R) stands for reverse engineering

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Since he stayed on through the transition, this could be interesting. If he is, I expect part of what he has to give up is Manafort. Manafort decided to play hardball. If this is accurate, he lost.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @tobie: Boente was appointed by President Obama to be a US Attorney. So take from that what you will. As for Wray shuffling staff, this is not surprising. Every new director eventually brings in his own personnel. If someone is in a position that has worked with the new director, they may stay, or may get a parallel assignment or promotion. But what is also interesting about the Boente hire is they’re doing a directed hire at the Senior Executive level in the Senior Executive Service. This will give Boente civil service protections he wouldn’t have, and didn’t have, as a political appointee (US Attorney, Acting AG).

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Commence full pucker mode tweeting in 3, 2, 1…

  21. 21
    LosGatosCA says:

    The Deep State is closing in.

  22. 22
    EthylEster says:

    Yr thoughts?

    I utterly hate posts containing twitter screens.
    You do it way too much.
    Thus I read fewer and fewer of your posts.
    This will work itself out eventually.

  23. 23
    Fred says:

    It’s all so exhausting.
    “BWAHAHAHA!” in deed.

  24. 24
    Ivan X says:


    I specifically like Anne Laurie’s Twitter-heavy posts because I hate reading Twitter. It’s like a language and insight destruction machine. I like how Anne culls and organizes the best of it, so I don’t have to suffer everything else.

  25. 25
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Major Major Major Major: My God, that is one awesomely beautiful feline. Thanks for the share.

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