On the evening of May 18, 2017, as he awaited confirmation to serve as the U.S. Justice Department’s lead liaison to Congress, Stephen Boyd walked into a bar on Pennsylvania Avenue to meet his predecessors.

Over drinks at the Tadich Grill, a seafood restaurant that would close within the year, the group warned Boyd of pitfalls and shared strategies for serving as “chief javelin catcher for the Justice Department,” as one of the attendees later described the role of assistant attorney general for legislative affairs.

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