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Dana Boente to lead DOJ division that oversees Russia probe

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WASHINGTON — A career federal prosecutor who was thrust into the middle of a whirlwind past three months at the Justice Department has been tapped to serve as the interim head of its national security division — a post that oversees the FBI’s work on potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Sources tell CNN that Dana Boente has been appointed the acting assistant attorney general for the national security division. The job also includes overseeing other high-profile investigations, such as those into Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

Boente, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has held a number of positions over the last several months. He was first thrust into the spotlight as the acting attorney general after President Donald Trump fired the former acting head, Sally Yates, for her refusal to defend the President’s first travel ban. Boente was then later tapped to serve as acting deputy attorney general until earlier this week, when Rod Rosenstein, a former US attorney for the district of Maryland, was confirmed to the No. 2 spot at DOJ.

As the acting head of the national security division, Boente will oversee the day-to-day Russia investigation, but any ultimate prosecutorial decisions will fall to Rosenstein since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has refused himself.