Biden Nominates U.S. Attorneys for Manhattan, Brooklyn

The building that houses the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York at One St. Andrews Plaza. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his nominees to lead high-profile U.S. Attorney offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Biden picked Damian Williams for the top spot in Manhattan’s Southern District of New York, and Breon Peace to head Brooklyn’s Eastern District of New York. Both men are Black, and Williams would be the first Black person to run the Manhattan office.

Both offices have been involved in attention-getting investigations and prosecutions. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District in 2018 oversaw the prosecution and subsequent guilty plea of Michael Cohen, at one time the personal lawyer of former President Donald Trump, on campaign-finance violations and other charges.

In the Eastern District, the office is overseeing the investigation of Tom Barrack, the chair of Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee, who has pleaded not guilty to charges that he secretly lobbied the U.S. on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.

Williams is currently chief of the securities and commodities task force in the Southern District office, where he oversees more than 20 prosecutors.
Peace worked in the Eastern District office from 2000 to 2002, under former Attorney General Loretta Lynch when she was the U.S. attorney there.

The nominees must be confirmed by the Senate.

In addition, Biden announced picks for several other U.S. Attorney positions: Jessica Aber in the Eastern District of Virginia; Carla Freedman in the Northern District of New York; William Ihlenfeld in the Northern District of West Virginia; Christopher Kavanaugh in the Western District of Virginia; Darcie McElwee in the District of Maine, and William Thompson in the Southern District of West Virginia.

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