Donald Trump’s Department of Justice abruptly forced out dozens of Obama-era U.S. Attorneys today with no warning, but it went out of its way to keep one of those attorneys in the fold: Dana Boente. If the name “Dana Boente” sounds familiar, it’s because it keeps consistently popping up at every turn during the Trump-Russia scandal, dating back to when President Barack Obama was still in office.
President Obama appointed Dana Boente as a U.S. Attorney in October of 2015, and assuredly vetted him thoroughly at the time. But just fifteen months later, as Obama was leaving office, one his final acts in January 2017 was an executive order whose sole purpose was to remove Boente from the line of succession at the DOJ (source: Washington Post). This was just as the Trump-Russia scandal was exploding; Obama’s only motivation would have been to try to ensure Boente couldn’t end up in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation during the next administration.
Then Donald Trump came into power, and one of his major actions was to fire acting Attorney General Sally Yates. He had a wide swath of people to choose from in replacing her. But he immediately chose – you guessed it – Dana Boente as his new acting Attorney General. Two weeks later, the same day Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General, Trump signed an executive order changing the DOJ line of succession (source: whitehouse.gov), whose sole purpose was to make sure that – here it comes again – Dana Boente would be in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation if Sessions had to resign or recuse himself.
It couldn’t be more clear that Barack Obama desperately wanted to make sure Dana Boente, his recent own appointee, would never be in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation, and hoping that Trump wouldn’t catch onto the last minute change-up he made. It’s equally clear that Donald Trump desperately wanted to make sure all along that Dana Boente would be in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation. In other words, both presidents had the same shared belief: that Boente would bend over backward to protect Trump over Russia. But why?
As of this moment, that’s a piece of the puzzle that only Obama and Trump know. Palmer Report’s research team has been digging into Dana Boente for months, but we can’t find anything to suggest why a recent Obama appointee would be willing to sell himself out to protect Trump from a traitorous scandal. Perhaps Trump told Boente early on that if he was willing to pretend the Russia scandal never happened, he’d end up becoming Attorney General if Sessions was compromised, and perhaps Boente was just that ambitious, and perhaps Obama got wind of it before leaving office.
Or perhaps Dana Boente was involved in the Trump-Russia scandal personally. But if so, he’s done a expert job of concealing it, even as Trump’s other Russia conspirators have all largely left a trail of evidence behind in buffoonish fashion. But whatever it is that’s motivating Dana Boente, understanding his role has been the key to unraveling Trump-Russia all along. But there are only two people who know why he’s so important in all of this – and neither one of them is talking. We trust Obama will clue us in at the right time, but we’ll keep digging. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report