Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Ogden a Top Candidate for Justice Dept. No. 2

Attorney General Janet Reno and then- Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, David W. Ogden in 1999. (Tom Allen/The Washington Post)

By Carrie Johnson
David W. Ogden, who oversees the Justice Department transition for President-elect Barack Obama, has emerged as the top candidate to become the department's second in command.

Ogden, a partner at the WilmerHale law firm in the District, ran the Justice Department's civil division during the Clinton administration. He also has experience with military issues after working as a deputy in the general counsel's office at the Defense Department. He developed close ties as an adviser to both former attorney general Janet Reno and former deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick, who went on to become his law partner.

Ogden did not return calls seeking comment today. But sources close to the transition say he appears to be edging out Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan to serve as deputy attorney general. The DAG essentially works as the 108,000 person department's chief operating officer, a job that requires extensive management skills at a time when officials are grappling with scarce resources and trying to chart a course that protects both national security and civil liberties.

Among the top challenges out of the gate will be how to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and how to develop a new regime for interrogating terrorism suspects.

Ogden's experience in the civil division could complement the criminal justice background of Eric H. Holder Jr., who is all but certain to be nominated by Obama as attorney general in the coming days. Holder is a former D.C. Superior Court judge and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He also worked as the deputy attorney general in the final years of President Bill Clinton's tenure.

Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. could announce their national security team soon after Thanksgiving, in a rollout similar to the economic slate that emerged today.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 24, 2008; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  Cast of Characters  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Minner to Appoint Biden Aide to Senate
Next: Change is Coming to FEMA


LOL! Janet Reno looks like she could literally Break this guy, like a bad Habit!

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 25, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I like to see the emphasis on civil rights.

Posted by: Gator-ron | November 25, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company