President Barack Obama will announce Saturday that he plans to nominate U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as attorney general of the United States, White House officials said in a statement Friday. If her nomination is approved, Lynch will become the first African-American woman to serve as U.S attorney general.
Lynch is currently the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which serves five New York counties, including Brooklyn and Queens. She was first appointed to this role by President Bill Clinton in 1999, but left in 2001 to join a private law firm and then became a board member at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Obama nominated her to return to her former job in 2010.
Lynch began her career in the district prosecuting narcotics and violent crime cases, as well as white collar fraud cases, according to the Eastern District of New York. She was chief assistant for the district during a high profile 1997 civil rights case, prosecuting New York City police officers who sexually assaulted a Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima.
Lynch currently supervises 170 attorneys and 150 other personnel — a team that recently indicted Republican Rep. Michael Grimm on fraud, tax evasion and perjury charges.
“Ms. Lynch is a strong, independent prosecutor who has twice led one of the most important U.S. Attorney's Offices in the country. She will succeed Eric Holder, whose tenure has been marked by historic gains in the areas of criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement,” Friday’s White House statement said. Holder announced his plans to resign in September. Lynch and Holder will both be present at Saturday’s announcement, according to the White House statement.
Lynch “has earned a well-deserved reputation as an aggressive but fair prosecutor, who has used her office to seek justice through both criminal and civil proceedings,” said recently re-elected New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
— Elisha Fieldstadt