Thomas Wheeler, an attorney close to Vice President Mike Pence, is leaving his post atop the Justice Department’s civil rights division.
NPR reports Wheeler held the post on an acting basis. The administration has nominated Eric Dreiband, an accomplished employment attorney, told lead the division.
Wheeler departs amidst a steady campaign of criticism from Obama-era DOJ officials, who say the Department has abandoned its commitment to civil rights under the Trump administration.
“In the first six months of this administration, we have seen a swift rollback of many of the key civil rights priorities, from the retreat on police reform, to rolling back voting rights and LGBT litigation and enforcement, to criminal justice reform,” said Anita Gupta, the assistant attorney general in charge of the division during the Obama administration.
Dreiband is a partner in the Washington offices of Jones Day. Many of the firm’s partners have be tapped for senior positions in the Trump administration, including White House Counsel Don McGahn and incoming Solicitor General Noel Francisco. Before joining Jones Day he was general counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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