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It may have taken Congress and the Justice Department five years to create a new National Security Division within the DOJ, but Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein has moved quickly to name his front-office staff. New bureaucracies in Washington often struggle to attract top talent from other arms of the federal government (witness the turnover at the Department of Homeland Security), but Wainstein’s former jobs as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, general counsel of the FBI, and head of the DOJ’s Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys appear to have helped him recruit a group of experienced hands. From the FBI, Wainstein poached Charles Steele to become his chief of staff-a post Steele had held for FBI Director Robert Mueller. Also beginning work at the new division last week was J. Patrick Rowan, the new deputy assistant attorney general for the counterterrorism and counterespionage sections. Rowan, whose name had been floated as a potential successor to Wainstein as U.S. attorney in the District, previously worked as a federal prosecutor in Washington and on the staff of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty. Matthew Olsen has been named as acting deputy assistant attorney general for the division’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act office, which oversees applications for secret wiretaps of foreign communications. Olsen follows Wainstein to Main Justice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District, where he headed the office’s National Security Section. Wainstein’s fourth senior deputy is Brett Gerry, who will become deputy assistant attorney general for the division’s law and policy group. Gerry comes to the division from the White House Counsel’s Office and was previously a lawyer on the staff of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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