United States Department of Justice National Security Division

The United States Department of Justice National Security Division (NSD) is the division of the DOJ that handles all national security functions of the department. Created by the 2005 USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization, the division consolidated all of the department's national security and intelligence functions into a single division. The division is headed by the Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

National Security Division
DOJ National Security Division logo.svg
Seal of the United States Department of Justice National Security Division
Division overview
FormedMarch 9, 2005 (2005-03-09)
HeadquartersRobert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C., United States
Division executive
Parent DivisionUnited States Department of Justice


The National Security Division was created under Section 506 of the 2005 USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization,[1] which was signed into law by President George W. Bush on March 9, 2006.[2]

It consolidated the department's national security efforts within one unit, bring together attorneys from the Counterterrorism Section and Counterespionage Section of the Criminal Division and from the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), with their specialized expertise in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and other intelligence matters. This fulfilled a recommendation of the Iraq Intelligence Commission (Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction).[3]

In 2010, its budget was $88 million.[4]


The head of the National Security Division is an Assistant Attorney General for National Security (AAG-NS) appointed by the President of the United States. The current AAG-NS is John Demers.


The National Security Division is overseen by an Assistant Attorney General, who is assisted by three deputy assistant attorneys general, who are all career attorneys, who each oversee a different branch of the division's sections.

  • Assistant Attorney General for National Security
    • Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Counterterrorism and Counterespionage
      • Counterterrorism Section
      • Counterespionage Section
    • Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Intelligence
      • Office of Intelligence
        • Operations Section
        • Oversight Section
        • Litigation Section
    • Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Law and Policy
      • Law and Policy Section
    • Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism
    • Executive Office


In December 2019, Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the DoJ released a report accusing the Division of lying to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in some of its applications for wiretaps.[5][6] The Presiding Judge of the Court subsequently ordered the Division to "inform the Court in a sworn written submission of what it has done, and plans to do, to ensure that the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application."[7]

List of assistant attorneys generalEdit

Name President
Sworn in Left office
Kenneth Leonard Wainstein[8] George W. Bush September 28, 2006[9] March 30, 2008
J. Patrick Rowan October 3, 2008[10] January 20, 2009[11]
David S. Kris Barack Obama 2009 2011
Lisa Monaco July 1, 2011[12] March 8, 2013
John P. Carlin April 2014 October 15, 2016[13]
John Demers Donald Trump February 22, 2018 Incumbent


  1. ^ "USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005." Government Printing Office.
  2. ^ "H.R.3199 Major Congressional Actions." THOMAS.
  3. ^ "Fact Sheet: USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005." United States Department of Justice 2 March 2006.
  4. ^ "DEPARTMENT Of JUSTICE", Government Printing Office. Retrieved 7 aug 2011
  5. ^ Inspector General Michael Horowitz (December 9, 2019). "Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane Investigation" (PDF). Department of Justice Office of Inspector General.
  6. ^ Jerry Dunleavy (December 9, 2019). "DOJ inspector general finds 17 'significant errors or omissions' in Carter Page FISA applications". Washington Examiner. These errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to the National Security Division’s Office of Intelligence and failing to flag important issues for discussion.
  7. ^ Rosemary M. Collyer, Presiding Judge, United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (December 17, 2019). "In Re Accuracy Concerns Regarding FBI Matters Submitted to the FISC" (PDF).CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Presidential Nomination: Kenneth Leonard Wainstein". 24 April 2008.
  9. ^ #06-655: 09-28-06 Kenneth L. Wainstein Sworn in as First Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division
  10. ^ "results.gov : Resources For The President's Team". 27 October 2008.
  11. ^ "Nomination Press Release - Assistant Attorney General | The White House". Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
  12. ^ "Meet the Assistant Attorney General". justice.gov.
  13. ^ "Wednesday 10-12-2016 John Carlin, who is about to step down as assistant attorney general for national security, discusses terrorism and cyber security". Retrieved 2016-10-23.

External linksEdit