He was a crucial voice in crafting the administration’s counterterrorism policies on issues like military detention and drone strikes, and approved all military missions that Obama and the Defense secretary signed off on.
Johnson also spearheaded the effort with the Pentagon that led to the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” the military’s ban on gay service members serving openly.
Johnson has long been by the president's side, as he was recruited to join Obama’s presidential campaign in November 2006.
Johnson’s confirmation process will likely face resistance from Republicans, who have been critical of the Obama administration’s policies on immigration and border security.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said Friday that he had “grave concerns” about Johnson’s lack of experience in law enforcement.