President Barack Obama plans a Rose Garden announcement at 2 pm EDT Friday.
Obama has decided on Jeh Johnson, a former Pentagon general counsel, as his next Homeland Security secretary, Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer and David Lerman report.
Johnson, 56, will be formally announced as the nominee today, according to an administration official who asked for anonymity. The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.
The president’s nominee would replace Janet Napolitano, who left the administration at the end of August to become head of the University of California system.
Johnson, one of the president’s earliest supporters, was a fundraiser and senior foreign policy adviser on the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama appointed him as the Defense Department’s general counsel on Feb. 10, 2009. He resigned last December and returned to private practice as a partner in the Washington office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
As the top lawyer at the Pentagon, Johnson was at the center of some of the Obama administration’s highest-profile national security issues. Johnson was directly involved in changing the rules for military commissions such as those used to try accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and responding to the 2010 release of classified documents by Wikileaks about the war in Afghanista
“He’s really a good choice,” said Morris Davis, a former chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay who has worked with Johnson. “He was in my view the best general counsel we had in my 25 years in the Air Force. He’s got the legal acumen, the people skills, the organizational skills.”