Attorney General Eric Holder might be doing his best Hamlet impersonation about whether or not to leave the administration — after much consternation, the latest is that he’s staying put for now. But there’s certainly upheaval in the ranks of his assistants.
Joseph Wayland, acting assistant AG for the antitrust division, left earlier this month, and was replaced by Renata Hesse in an acting role (William Baer, an attorney with Arnold & Porter, was nominated to take her place permanently, but he’s yet to be confirmed by Congress).
Wayland returned to his old firm, Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett. He tells the Loop that his commute from New York — where he lives with his wife and three teenage boys — to Washington was getting to be too much. “I was on borrowed time,” he says.
He isn’t the only one moving on. Lanny Breuer, Assistant AG for the criminal division, is also rumored to be heading for the exit, perhaps by the end of the year. He’s been at Justice for the bulk of the first Obama administration, and so his eventual departure, too, seems like a natural turn of events.
He might otherwise have stayed, people with information said, but Breuer’s role in the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking controversy would likely prevent him from winning Senate confirmation for a more senior job — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) last year called for his resignation.
Another expected departure — sooner rather than later, we hear — is Ignacia Moreno, the Assistant AG for environmental and natural resources division.