Will Wainstein Run Non-Political Security Unit At Justice?


Prosecuting those who leak classified information is just a part of Kenneth Wainstein’s controversial portfolio as the assistant U.S. attorney general for the National Security Division, created last summer, says U.S. News & World Report. Example: The federal warrantless electronic surveillance program now under the purview of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Wainstein, 45, a career federal prosecutor, says he is used to making difficult decisions based on the facts and the law. “But with national security being a hot political issue, it’s natural for people to scrutinize our big prosecution decisions through the prism of politics,” says Wainstein. “Because it’s important that we maintain public confidence, we’re careful to both make and to announce our decisions in an apolitical way.”

“This administration has politicized almost every part of the Justice Department,” says Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies, a civil-liberties group. “We need congressional oversight to prevent this key division from being similarly politicized.” A former U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., Wainstein spent most of his career putting drug dealers, murderers, and crooked politicians behind bars. He later served as general counsel and chief of staff to Director Robert Mueller. “You need somebody who can balance the intelligence imperatives with the law-enforcement imperatives,” says Chuck Rosenberg, a U.S. attorney in Virginia. “Sometimes they are in conflict, and you need someone to sort that out.”

Link: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070218/26justice.htm

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