Dana Boente: Who is Donald Trump’s replacement for acting Attorney General Sally Yates?

The man who was praised for his loyalty and seniority in the Justice Department has also said he will enforce the Muslim travel ban

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The Independent US

When the President fired the acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to implement his travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries, many eyes were on his replacement.

In the short time before Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions is likely to be approved for the top job, Donald Trump appointed the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dana Boente, to cover him.

Mr Boente, 62, was nominated by former President Barack Obama in October 2015 and confirmed two months later by the Senate.

He spent more than three decades at the Justice Department as a career public servant, supervising persecution of federal crimes in his district and working across both Republican and Democratic administrations. 

To Mr Trump, loyalty is perhaps an even higher recommendation than 33 years in the relevant department.

Mr Boente said, unlike his predecessor Sally Yates, he would enforce the so-called Muslim ban from seven countries for 120 days and the suspension of Syrian refugees "indefinitely".

He told The Washington Post he had already been defending the executive order, signed last week, in a lawsuit brought against it in Virginia federal court.

"I was enforcing it this afternoon," Mr Boente said.

"Our career department employees were defending the action in court, and I expect that’s what they’ll do tomorrow, appropriately and properly."

Before joining the Justice Department, he worked as a law clerk to the Chief US District Judge Waldo Ackerman for the central district in Illinois.

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, a Democrat, called him one of the Justice Department’s "consummate utility players", praising his work to expose corruption in Louisiana and Virginia.

"He is that reliable middle child, the one you could always count on to be there for you," she told The Post.