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Senate confirms justice official who worked for Russian bank

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WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday licensed President Donald Trump’s select to guide the Justice Division’s legal department following a yearlong affirmation procedure.

Brian Benczkowski was once narrowly showed as an assistant legal professional common with a 51-48 vote. Democrats strongly adverse the nomination, in part on account of his paintings whilst in non-public observe for a number one Russian financial institution. Democrats mentioned his Russian ties may just complicate particular recommend Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference within the 2016 election and imaginable coordination with the Trump marketing campaign.

Image: Brian Benczkowski, Jeff Sessions
Brian Benczkowski, then Republican group of workers director of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sits at the back of the committee’s then rating Republican, Sen. Jeff Classes, R-Ala., in Washington, on June 18, 2009.Harry Hamburg / AP document

Democrats additionally contended that Benczkowski didn’t have sufficient revel in in federal courtrooms to run the legal department. The location is likely one of the most important within the Justice Division, with the assistant legal professional common having oversight of legal instances involving public corruption, monetary fraud, laptop hacking, drug trafficking and different main crimes.

Benczkowski sought to downplay the ones considerations at his affirmation listening to ultimate 12 months, pronouncing, “Being head of the legal department within the first example is mainly a control and management task.” He famous that he had held more than one Justice Division posts, together with serving as leader of group of workers to former Legal professional Basic Michael Mukasey within the Bush management.

“One of the vital issues that I realized all through the ones earlier positions is how necessary it’s to seek the advice of and pay attention to the profession legal professionals within the division,” Benczkowski mentioned.

Benczkowski, who additionally served as an aide to Jeff Classes when he was once a U.S. senator, has maximum just lately been a spouse at Kirkland & Ellis regulation company and a Justice Division respectable.

Classes, now legal professional common, welcomed Benczkowski to the task Wednesday, praising his various revel in.

“This would be the 6th senior place Brian has held on the Division, and we’re lucky to have any person together with his breadth of revel in and robust management abilities keen to serve once more. At a time like this — with surging violent crime and an unheard of drug epidemic — this place is particularly necessary,” Classes mentioned in a observation.

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