Biden considering Lisa Monaco, Sally Yates for attorney-general

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WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – The Biden transition team is weighing attorney-general contenders led by Ms Lisa Monaco, who held key national security posts in the Obama administration, and Ms Sally Yates, who gained fame when she was fired by President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

The choice of either would help President-elect Joe Biden achieve his goal of having women represented at the highest levels of his administration.

Other candidates under consideration include Alabama Senator Doug Jones, who lost his re-election bid this month, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, one person said.

Ms Monaco and Ms Yates both had extensive careers inside the Justice Department and previously held positions that required Senate confirmation.

But her history of tussling with the Trump White House might make Ms Yates’s approval harder if the Senate is still controlled by Republicans.

Ms Monaco declined to comment, while Ms Yates and officials with Mr Biden’s transition team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ms Monaco, 52, spent 15 years in the Justice Department during the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

In 2011 she became the first woman to lead the department’s national security division.

In 2013, President Barack Obama selected her to serve as White House homeland security and counter-terrorism adviser.

Ties with Biden

Mr Biden’s team is considering nominating Ms Monaco as attorney-general and Mr Neil MacBride as deputy attorney-general, one of the people said.

Mr MacBride, 55, served as US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia during the Obama administration.

The office oversees some of the most significant and complicated terrorism and national security cases.

Ms Monaco worked for Mr Biden when he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Mr MacBride served as his chief counsel and staff director on the panel.

Ms Monaco also is under consideration to become director of national intelligence or secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, another person said.

Other names that have been floated for the director of national intelligence post include Mr Robert Cardillo, former director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and Mr Alejandro Mayorkas, who previously served as the department’s deputy director.

DOJ Veteran Yates is a 27-year veteran of the Justice Department chosen by Mr Obama to be deputy attorney-general in 2015.

In that role, she was responsible for overseeing 113,000 employees and all US attorneys and major components of the agency.

Prior to that, she was the first woman to serve as US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Ms Yates, 60, became acting attorney-general in the early days of the Trump administration.

Shortly thereafter, she ordered the department to not defend Mr Trump’s executive order restricting travel to the US from seven majority-Muslim countries, saying it was unlawful.

She was immediately fired by Mr Trump.

Ms Yates also tangled with the Trump administration over Mr Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s first national security adviser.

She informed the White House that Mr Flynn hadn’t been truthful about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US and was vulnerable to blackmail as a result.

Mr Flynn was eventually removed and charged by the FBI for lying about those talks.

Bastion Balance Seoul.