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Senator seeks explanation for career US prosecutor’s abrupt resignation


Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, speaks to the media after a hearing in federal court June 11, 2015 in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, speaks to the media after a hearing in federal court June 11, 2015 in Alexandria, Virginia.

A Department of Justice spokesman said the agency does not comment on personnel matters.

Boente could not immediately be reached for comment.

Investigations into whether Republican Trump’s campaign associates colluded with Russia last year to help him defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for the presidency arose after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russia carried out a campaign of hacking and propaganda to interfere in the election.

Russia has repeatedly denied meddling allegations and Trump has denied any collusion.

A Justice Department veteran, Boente has stepped in to help stabilize the law enforcement agency in frequent periods of turmoil during the first year of the Trump administration.

Boente has also been temporarily serving as the acting assistant attorney general for the department’s National Security Division. He previously was acting attorney general after Trump fired the prosecutor in that post, Sally Yates. After that, Boente also briefly was acting deputy attorney general.

A person familiar with the matter confirmed that Sessions, a former Alabama Republican senator and close Trump ally, asked Boente to tender his resignation in late October.

Boente will step down as head of the National Security Division once Trump’s nominee John Demers is confirmed by the Senate. After that, Boente will continue as head of the Eastern District in Alexandria, Virginia, until he is replaced.

Trump has not yet nominated anyone for that post.

The Eastern District post is the fourth most powerful position in the department’s line of succession.

A judge in the district approved the search warrant for the Alexandria, Virginia home of former Trump campaign manager Manafort in July.

A grand jury in the district earlier this year became part of Mueller’s probe of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who is under scrutiny for his work as a lobbyist for a Turkish businessman.

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