Jim Kouri
Justice Department Presidential Transition activities
By Jim Kouri
November 10, 2008

"Now that the elections are behind us, we begin a time of transition. During this time, it is important that all of us continue giving our best efforts to the American people and bringing the dedication and commitment to our jobs that we have brought to them from day one. It is also important that all of us do whatever we can to ensure a smooth transition to the next Administration." — Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, Memo to Component Heads and U.S. Attorneys, Nov. 5, 2008

The Department of Justice's transition activities fully support the Executive Order on Presidential Transition signed by President Bush in order to provide the American people a safe and secure transition from a Bush Administration to an Obama Administration.

The Executive Order creates a Presidential Transition Coordinating Council, of which the Attorney General is a member. Attorney General Mukasey designated Brian Benczkowski, Chief of Staff, and Lee Lofthus, Assistant Attorney General for Administration, to lead the Department's transition activities. The Department's transition activities began last May.

Providing Unprecedented Security, Background Checks and Clearances

— Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Management Division's Security and Emergency Planning staff established a process to provide pre-election security clearances for key transition staff in both campaigns. This unprecedented action will ensure key transition staff can assume their new roles as soon as possible.

— In addition to providing pre-election clearances, the Department is ready to work with the Office of the President-elect in providing security clearances for appointees and staff of the incoming administration.

— The Department's Security and Emergency Planning staff helps provide 24-hour protection to the Presidential Transition Team headquarters.

Maintaining a Continuity of Operations Plan

— The Department's continuity of operations plan (COOP) encompasses both political and career appointees to provide a seamless transition. The Department will continue to ensure that essential positions remain filled throughout the transition, including designations for the Department's key COOP positions.

Ensuring for a Smooth National Security Transition

— Department national security and FBI personnel are working with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA and other intelligence agencies to provide daily national security briefings to select transition personnel.

Identifying Career Officials to Lead Department

— The Department has identified career officials to lead the Department of Justice components after Inauguration Day until the incoming Administration political appointees arrive.

Developing Valuable Resource Materials

— The Department has developed transition briefing materials for incoming political appointees about the Department's organizational structure, the financial and budget structure, a human resources overview, and critical topics that the incoming administration will face in its first weeks.

— The Department has prepared briefings on the special hiring and appointment authorities for excepted service attorney personnel. The Department is prepared to brief incoming political appointees from the new Administration as soon as practicable after appointment to ensure the continuity of operations and line of succession.

Keeping Department Personnel Apprised of Transition Activities

— Senior Justice Management Division officials have been meeting monthly with all Department components to ensure each component is informed of the Department's transition activities.

Providing Office Space for Transition Team

— The Department has allocated offices, equipment and conference room space for the transition team.

Providing Incoming Administration Transition Support

— The Department will provide briefings to new political appointees on a variety of issues, including benefits, classified information handling, records management, ethics, government travel rules and contracting rules.

Providing Outgoing Political Appointee Support

— The Department's transition efforts also include providing support for outgoing appointees. Briefings are held for appointees to inform them on a variety of information, including post-employment restrictions, ethics, records management and benefits. And, for the first time, the Department has created a Web site for outgoing political appointees providing them with online access to this information.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

© Jim Kouri


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


Receive future articles by Jim Kouri: Click here

More by this author

September 10, 2017
Trump Justice: 'Dreamer' wanted for murder nabbed by feds in NJ and extradited

July 26, 2017
NJ 12-year-old's suicide a plea for cyber-bullying law: GOP candidate Heather Darling

June 12, 2017
Obama hampered law enforcement investigation of Iranian terrorism funding

June 2, 2017
Prez of Young Democrats and Mayor de Blasio staffer busted for kiddie porn; one victim 6-mos. old

May 29, 2017
The conservative approach to taxation and a healthy business climate

May 24, 2017
U.S. intelligence reports warn of cyber "Cold War"

March 3, 2017
Media attack Trump's terrorism expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka

December 23, 2016
Trump's border wall: The bill was passed and signed into law

December 22, 2016
Dem lawmakers demand commission to probe Trump-Russia conspiracy

December 14, 2016
Outraged Vets: VA hospital death touted as proof of Obama and Democrats indifference

More articles


Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Flashback: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 7: Politicized education

Pete Riehm
Often the dumbest are the most dangerous

Matt C. Abbott
Taking secrets to the grave: Father Kunz murder, 26 years unsolved

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Revelation Chapter 21: A narrative of two cities, exploring the heavenly city

Curtis Dahlgren
'Tis the season for vote buying and lying; smarty pants on fire

Madeline Crabb
The intentional takedown of America: Part two

Jerry Newcombe
The presidents and faith

Michael Bresciani
Trump says he will seek no revenge

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 6: 'An unaware and compliant citizenry'

Pete Riehm
Escape from New York before the Empire State strikes again!

Michael Bresciani
What is a prophet? Are there prophets in our world today?

Steve A. Stone
The world as I view it today
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites