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Report: Obama to Tap Brooklyn U.S. Attorney to Replace Eric Holder

Image source: Department of Justice

President Barack Obama is expected to tap U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general, CNN is reporting.

Image source: Department of Justice Image source: Department of Justice

Lynch, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, is a two-time U.S. attorney nominated by Obama in 2010 and by President Bill Clinton. As the current U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York, she has overseen federal prosecutions of terrorism cases.

After the report, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that Obama has not made a decision on a nominee and said there would be no personnel announcement on Friday.

Unlike outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, the New York Times reported that Lynch, 55, has no personal links to Obama or to his policies. NPR reported Thursday that Lynch was under consideration.

Holder has often faced criticism for running the Justice Department in an overly politicized matter, and was found in contempt of Congress in 2012 for not providing documents regarding Operation Fast and Furious.

According to her Justice Department biography, Lynch joined the U.S. attorney’s office in 1990 in the New York eastern district office, prosecuting narcotics and violent crimes cases, and was chief of the Long Island office from 1994 to 1998, where she prosecuted white collar crimes and public corruption cases.

She served as U.S. attorney under Clinton from 1999 to 2001 and has taught for the Justice Department's criminal trial advocacy program and as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University School of Law.

Before Obama tapped her to return as U.S. attorney in 2010, she worked in private practice for the New York firm Hogan and Hartson, focusing on commercial litigation.

Obama’s choice would be similar to former President George W. Bush’s choice of Michael Mukasey, a former judge who was viewed as a less political pick than his previous attorney generals, former Republican Sen. John Ashcroft and former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales.

Lynch would bypass other more well-known figures such as Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, a former justice department attorney whose confirmation would have likely proven controversial, and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr.

This post has been updated.

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