Carlin's exit leaves the Obama administration without one of its most vocal advocates for publicly identifying and blaming foreign government hackers for cyberattacks on American institutions.
The Justice Department’s top national security official is leaving his position next month, the department announced Tuesday. John Carlin, who has led the department’s national security division since 2014, will be leaving government on Oct. 15.
The department did not reveal what Carlin, 43, plans to do next, but it said he would take some time off and spend time with his family.
”John Carlin has been a trusted and tireless leader of the Justice Department’s National Security Division,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. ”He is wholly devoted to the department’s most important mission – protecting our country against acts of terrorism and other national security threats – and he has set a high standard by relentlessly pursuing those who seek to harm our people and threaten our assets.”
Carlin’s exit leaves the Obama administration without one of its most vocal advocates for publicly identifying and blaming foreign government hackers for cyberattacks on American institutions. His departure comes as the administration weighs whether and how to respond to a Democratic National Committee cyberbreach that U.S. officials believe was committed by the Russians.
During his tenure, the Justice Department brought indictments against five Chinese military officials accused of hacking into American corporations in a case of economic espionage. The department this year also secured indictments of Iranian hackers accused of digital intrusions on banks and a small dam outside New York City. It’s unclear whether those gestures will result in courtroom prosecutions, but Carlin has repeatedly encouraged the use of indictments and other sanctions as a deterrent against foreign hackers and the nations that sponsor them and said such cases were effective.
Carlin previously served as chief of staff and senior counsel to former FBI director Robert Mueller and was also a prosecutor in Washington.