Speed Reads

Meet the New Guy

The new acting attorney general is an Obama appointee from Virginia

The spotlight is hot on Dana Boente, the new acting attorney general of the United States.

Before Monday night, most people had never heard of Boente, 62, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He was sworn in at 9 p.m. ET, a White House senior assistant press secretary told NBC News, just a few hours after former acting Attorney General Sally Yates told lawyers in the Department of Justice not to defend President Trump's executive order on immigration. Her firing was announced on Twitter by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and the White House quickly went on a tear denouncing Yates, accusing her of being "very weak" on borders.

Boente has held various positions in the Department of Justice, and in 2012 was appointed U.S. Attorney in New Orleans. In 2013, he became acting U.S. Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia, and in 2015, former President Barack Obama appointed him to the job full-time. The White House released a statement it said was from Boente, which read: "I am honored to serve President Trump in this role until Sen. [Jeff] Sessions is confirmed. I will defend and enforce the laws of our country to ensure that our people and our nation are protected." Sessions, Trump's nominee for attorney general, is a conservative Republican senator from Alabama who has been accused of racism (allegations he says are baseless), was denied a federal judgeship in the 1980s, was one of Trump's earliest supporters during his campaign, and was the boss and mentor of Trump top policy adviser Stephen Miller and deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn.