On July 11, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Brian Benczkowski to be assistant attorney general of the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a 51-48 vote.
Benczkowski is currently a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C.
He was first nominated to be assistant attorney general over a year ago, and his nomination sparked controversy due to his ties to Alfa Bank, a Russian bank he represented briefly in 2017, and his lack of prosecutorial experience.
Benczkowski, who received a law degree from Washington University Law School in 1994, previously served as principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Office of Legislative Affairs during the George W. Bush administration; he also led the Justice Department’s transition after President Trump’s election.
Benczkowski’s confirmation ends an 18-month delay in which the Justice Department’s Criminal Division operated without a permanent leader.