Jeh Johnson says he won't serve in Biden administration

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says he will not serve in President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE’s administration.

“I will not be in the Biden administration,” Johnson said in an email to Reuters. When asked why, he referred to “the news over the last 24 hours.”

Johnson was reportedly under consideration to serve as secretary of Defense in the incoming administration.


The president-elect announced on Tuesday that he would nominate retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to the post instead. Austin, if confirmed, would be the first Black Defense secretary.

Johnson served as Homeland Security secretary from 2013 to 2017. Early in the Obama administration, he was a  Pentagon general counsel, Reuters notes.

However, his efforts to expand family detentions and accelerate deportations came under question, according to an opposition book circulated around Capitol Hill. His approval of hundreds of drone strikes that hit civilians was also called into question.

Johnson was also reportedly under consideration to be attorney general. Now, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who lost his reelection bid last month, is seen as the top contender for the job.

Others under consideration for attorney general in the Biden administration are former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesBiden directs DOJ to phase out use of private prisons The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from chaotic downtown DC Biden to name Merrick Garland for attorney general MORE and Judge Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDOJ faces swift turnaround to meet Biden voting rights pledge Merrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan MORE.