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Former acting AG Dana Boente resigning as US Attorney in high-profile Va. office

FILE - In tbhis Jan. 26, 2012 file photo, Dana Boente, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, speaks outside federal court in Alexandria, Va. Boente, the man appointed to serve as Acting Attorney General after his predecessor refused to defend President Trump's travel ban, has a reputation for providing steady leadership in difficult situations and was described by then-Attorney general Loretta Lynch as one of the Justice Department's "consummate utility players." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced his resignation Friday, but said he plans to stay on until a successor is in place.

Boente, a career prosecutor who has also served as acting U.S. attorney general, announced his plans in an email to staff. His spokesman, Joshua Stueve, said the email does not spell out a reason for his departure.

Boente, 63, briefly served in the top spot at the Justice Department earlier this year after President Donald Trump fired Sally Yates in a dispute over the administration's proposed travel ban.

Boente is also serving as acting assistant attorney general for national security and will vacate that post once his successor is confirmed by the Senate.

The Eastern District is known for high-profile cases. As home to the Pentagon and the CIA, the district often prosecutes terrorism, espionage and national security cases. Boente also led the corruption prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose conviction was later thrown out by the Supreme Court.

John Lenkart, the assistant special agent in charge for national security in the Richmond FBI division, said Boente has been "a very steady hand" on terrorism prosecutions.

"He has set the tone for the office to take a very professional and aggressive stance toward terrorism," Lenkart said.

Boente was appointed to the Virginia post by the Obama administration.

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