Two new assistant attorneys general, Ronald Weich and Laurie Robinson, took their oaths of office today in a ceremony in the Justice Department's Great Hall that drew hundreds of spectators.
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. called Weich, the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legislative Affairs, his "right arm" when it comes to Capitol Hill. Weich, then chief counsel to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), worked closely with Holder on the attorney general's Senate confirmation hearing in January. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the Judiciary Committee's ranking Republican, said Weich "knows Capitol Hill like the back of his hand."
Holder joked today he was “dubious” at first about Weich due to certain high school rivalries. Weich’s a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. Holder went to Stuyvesant High School.
Robinson, meanwhile, had been serving as director of the master of science program in the University of Pennsylvania’s criminology department. It took some convincing to get her to return to the Justice Department as the assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs, Holder said. That effort included what Holder called an “epic” phone call to her husband.
Robinson held the same AAG position in the Clinton administration. Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli called her a “rock star," and Holder said Robinson is the "epitome" of a public servant.
Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a Justice alum who at one time was principal associate deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, delivered the oaths to Robinson and Weich.