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 BidenTrump Jr. cuts ad for Loeffler, Perdue in Georgia Biden to tap Vilsack for Agriculture secretary: reports Georgia elections official: Trump should ‘act more responsibly’ 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 YatesDoug Jones seen as leading contender as Biden attorney general: report Biden to name nominee for Pentagon chief this week The case against Sally Yates MORE and Judge Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDoug Jones seen as leading contender as Biden attorney general: report The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight MORE.