John Demers

John Charles Demers (born September 21, 1971)[1] is an American attorney serving as the assistant attorney general of the National Security Division. An appointee of President Donald Trump, he has served under both, President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. John Demers also served as acting United States Attorney General for a few hours following the resignation of the previous acting United States Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at noon on January 20, 2021, until President Joe Biden signed an executive order naming Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Human Resources Monty Wilkinson as acting United States Attorney General later that day.[2]

John Demers
John Demers official photo.png
United States Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division
Assumed office
February 22, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Joe Biden
Preceded byJohn P. Carlin
Succeeded byMatthew G. Olsen (nominee)
Acting United States Attorney General
In office
January 20, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
DeputyJohn P. Carlin (acting)
Preceded byJeffrey A. Rosen (acting)
Succeeded byMonty Wilkinson (acting)
Personal details
Born (1971-09-21) September 21, 1971 (age 49)
Gubbio, Italy
Political partyRepublican
EducationCollege of the Holy Cross (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

Demers was the longest-serving Senate-confirmed official from the Trump administration, that was retained for the Biden administration. Demers's long-planned departure from the Justice Department garnered attention when the Trump administration data seizure became publicly known in June 2021, which coincided with his departure. Though Demers asked to leave immediately, the Biden administration asked him to remain until the end of June. Pending confirmation, John Demers will be succeeded by Matthew Olsen.[3][4]

Early life and educationEdit

Demers was born in Gubbio, Italy. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Harvard Law School.[5]


Prior to his post in the United States Department of Justice, Demers served as the vice president and assistant general counsel at Boeing. Demers clerked for Diarmuid O'Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States. He worked in private practice before serving in the Office of Legal Counsel. Demers was on the leadership team of the United States Department of Justice National Security Division, first as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General and then as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Law & Policy. Demers is an adjunct professor of national security law at Georgetown University Law Center.[6][7] John Demers's appointment to the head of the United States Department of Justice National Security Division garnered praise from both Democrats and Republicans. The Senate praised his work under both Republican and Democratic administrations, which included serving in the DOJ's National Security Division's leadership team in both 2006 and 2009.[3]

In March 2020, the Justice Department dropped the indictment against a Russian company Concord Management and Consulting. The indictment stemmed from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Demers and US Attorney Timothy Shea said that while "the prosecution was properly commenced in the first place", continuing to pursue the case would "risk of exposure of law enforcement's tools and techniques". Concord lawyer Eric Dubelier who sought a trial in the case said the purpose of the indictment was "to make a political statement regarding the outcome of the 2016 election that was grossly overstated".[8][9]

Demers led the United States Department of Justice's China Initiative, an effort to counter Chinese espionage and intelligence activities in the U.S.[10][11] Through this initiative, the National Security Division has made progress towards combating Chinese activities, in particular, Chinese intellectual property theft, surveillance, and a myriad of classified national security threats, and this progress is considered to be Demer's signature achievement. These initiatives will be continued by the Department of Justice, under Demer's successor, Matthew Olsen.[3]

Though not directly involved, Demers was possibly briefed on the Trump administration data seizure in which the Justice Department seized by subpoenas the communications information for members of Congress, journalists, and the Trump White House counsel. He announced he was leaving the Justice Department days after the full extent of the Trump administration data seizure became publicly known, though he was reported to have been planning his departure for some time earlier.[12][3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "United States Senate Committee on Intelligence: Questionnaire for Completion by Presidential Nominees: John C. Demers" (PDF).
  2. ^ Correspondent, Evan Perez, CNN Justice. "Trump's acting attorney general leaves without creating controversial special counsels". CNN.
  3. ^ a b c d Benner, Katie (June 14, 2021). "Justice Dept. Official to Step Down Amid Uproar Over Leaks Inquiry" – via
  4. ^ "DOJ National Security chief John Demers to step down amid leak probe furor". POLITICO.
  5. ^ "Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division: Who Is John Demers?". AllGov.
  6. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". September 2, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017 – via National Archives.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ Wilber, Del Quentin; Viswanatha, Aruna (May 2, 2017). "Two Bush Veterans Said to Be Top Contenders for Justice Department Posts". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  8. ^ Gerstein, Josh (March 16, 2020). "Justice Department drops plans for trial over Russian interference in 2016 U.S. election". Politico.
  9. ^ Hsu, Spencer S. (March 16, 2020). "Justice Dept. abandons prosecution of Russian firm indicted in Mueller election interference probe". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany (January 19, 2021). "Top DOJ official John Demers on the agency's China Initiative". Axios. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  11. ^ Woodruff Swan, Betsy (April 7, 2020). "Inside DOJ's nationwide effort to take on China". Politico. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  12. ^ CNN, Katelyn Polantz and Evan Perez. "Trump administration pursued CNN reporter's records in months-long secret court battle". CNN.

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
John P. Carlin
United States Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division
Preceded by
Jeffrey A. Rosen
United States Attorney General

Succeeded by
Monty Wilkinson