Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, is resigning and will leave office when a replacement is confirmed.
Boente was confirmed in 2015 after serving in an acting capacity. He is also the acting assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division and was briefly the acting U.S. attorney general after President Donald Trump fired former acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
Boente would not be making any comment Friday, a spokesman said.
“I will be around for a while and hope to visit with all of you to discuss how much the office and our work means to each of us,” Boente wrote in a letter to the lawyers he oversees, according to The Washington Post. “I have so much respect for you and the work you do every day.”
The Eastern District of Virginia covers a crescent from Northern Virginia through central Virginia and Richmond to Hampton Roads. With 6 million residents, it is also home to the Pentagon, the CIA, internet service providers and the world’s largest naval base. The office handles numerous high-profile and national security cases.
Boente oversaw the corruption prosecution of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, in 2014.
Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said Friday, “He’s had a lot of heavy lifting to do here recently in the early days of the Trump administration. He did almost everything at the top.”
“I just think it’s the natural course of events,” said Tobias, who added that it is unlikely Boente would go back to being a courtroom prosecutor but might take a job elsewhere in the Justice Department.
Boente, 63, has been with the Justice Department for more than three decades. He was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2015 as the 60th U.S. attorney for the district.
Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats, will recommend nominees to succeed Boente.
“We are grateful for Dana Boente’s public service, and look forward to reviewing qualified candidates and selecting the right individual for this significant role,” Kaine and Warner said in a statement Friday.
Tobias said he suspects there will be a great deal of interest from the White House and the Justice Department given that the post is one of the most important among more than 90 U.S. attorney offices in the country.