Noel Francisco is the Solicitor General of the United States and the fourth-ranking official in the US Justice Department. Francisco is also, it seems, the person in line to take over overseeing the Mueller investigation if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein leaves his job.
However, there’s some doubt over whether Franciso, who is seen as very close to Republican and conservative causes, would take over the investigation. Rosenstein’s background is more political than most solicitor generals. He also has a history of working for the law firm Jones Day, which represents the Trump campaign. Some political observers think that Francisco would have to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation, leaving Steve Engel to take over the investigation.
Noel Francisco’s family is both unconventional and international. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Francisco and His Wife Adopted a Daughter from Russia
Back in 2002, Francisco was working in the Bush administration when he was inspired when he saw other administration staffers adopt children from other countries. Lawrence B. Lindsey, Bush’s top economic adviser, Lawrence B. Lindsey had adopted a child. Susan Neely, who worked in the Homeland Security press office, adopted an orphan from Cambodia. Other administration officials adopted children from Turkey.
Francisco said that he was inspired by all the people around him who were bringing children to America and making them part of their families. He and his wife adopted a baby girl, Caroline, from a part of Russia near Chechnya. Francisco made two trips to the region before returning home with baby Caroline.
Francisco and his wife said they wanted to adopt “to show we’re citizens of the world.”
2. His Father Was a Filipino Immigrant
Francisco grew up in the small upstate New York town of Oswego, attending Oswego High School before he went on to the University of Chicago.
Franciso’s mother, Therese, was American. His father, Nemesio, was a Filipino immigrant who grew up amid war and arrived in the US speaking virtually no English. Noel said that his father, who was born in 1935, told him stories of being driven out of his home by soldiers as a child. But Nemesio’s family saved up enough money to send Nemesio to medical school and, eventually, to send him to America, where he eventually became Oswego’s town doctor. Noel often talked about his father’s strength and his ability to overcome great difficulties later in life.
Nemesio died of cancer when he was just 53.
3. Noel and His Brother, David, Liked to Do Historical Reenactments
Noel has one brother, David Francisco. When Noel and David were growing up, they worked for the Fort Ontario Historic Site in Oswego. They were both members of the the Fort Ontario Guard. That’s a group of nine men and women who dress is post-Civil War uniforms and carry out demonstrations of period drills and exercises for tourists on the fort’s grounds.
David Francisco is now a doctor living in the Rochester area. Their father, Nemesio, was a doctor who served as Oswego’s general practitioner.
4. Francisco’s Father, Nemesio, Was a Big Fan of Ronald Reagan
Noel Francisco said that he remembers one big fight his parents had, back when he was a child. His father, a Filipino immigrant, had donated money to Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign. Noel’s mother, an American-born woman named Therese, was horrified. Her own family were teamsters, and she likely didn’t support Reagan. Francisco says the family didn’t have a lot of money and Therese was also horrified at the idea of spending hard-earned wages to support a political campaign.
But, he said, his father was very, very proud of having donated to Reagan’s campaign. In return for his donation, he got a signed photograph of Reagan. He said, “my father was so proud of that auto-penned photo. And it was only many years later that I began to understand why. It was because he had come to understand that he was an American, and he was actively participating in our democratic process.”
5. Francisco and His Wife, Cynthia, Live in Washington D.C. With Their Daughters
Noel Francisco is married to Cynthia Francisco. The couple has two daughters, Caroline and Maggie. Caroline was adopted from Russia in 2001, after Francisco made a couple of trips to the area.
The family lives in Washington, DC.
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