Lost in the tumult of the past 10 days over the Suleimani strike was the president’s announcement on Jan. 3 of his intent to nominate a new legal adviser, Ambassador C.J. Mahoney, to replace Jennifer Newstead, who resigned last April to become general counsel of Facebook.
Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets
Beneath the high-profile conflicts over civil liberties or targeted killings, a myriad more mundane decisions lie at the intersection of national security and the law. Our constitutional process requires the advice and consent of the Senate for many high-level executive positions, including those responsible for national security, and each year, Congress must pass a budget that includes funding for the armed forces and intelligence agencies. Sometimes these confirmation and budgetary battles become proxy fights for larger and deeper disagreements, and often, they simply reflect the petty partisan politics of the age.