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Biden announces nominee for US attorney in the Northern District of Georgia

The position of U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia has been the subject of many headlines this year.

WASHINGTON (CN) — President Joe Biden has selected a nominee for the position of U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia — a post that's seen repeated turnover over the past year after a Donald Trump appointee abruptly resigned in early January.

Ryan K. Buchanan was among eight nominees selected by the president to serve as U.S. attorneys across the country. They were "chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in their fields, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice," according to a White House press release.

Currently serving as the district's assistant U.S. attorney, Buchanan was highly recommended by Georgia's two Democratic U.S. Senators Jon Ossof and Raphael Warnock. He's led more than 200 prosecutions of over 40 federal crimes, including violent crimes, crimes involving child exploitation and organized crime cases involving national gangs.

Buchanan has also prosecuted cases involving the support of foreign terrorist organizations and attempts by would-be domestic terrorists to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Since 2017, he served as the national security and anti-terrorism advisory council coordinator and in 2018 became deputy chief of the Violent Crime and National Security Section.

U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate for a term of four years and are responsible for enforcing federal laws within his or her jurisdiction and representing the federal government in civil and criminal cases.

“I am pleased that President Biden has accepted my and Sen. Rev. Warnock’s recommendation for this key federal law enforcement position," Ossoff said in a statement Monday.

"I expect and am confident that Mr. Buchanan will perform his duties with impartiality and professionalism, guided by commitments to truth, integrity, and justice," he added. I look forward to meeting with him again ahead of the confirmation process and seeing him before the Senate Judiciary Committee soon."

Warnock said Buchanan's "extensive experience as a federal prosecutor makes him a stellar nominee for this important post."

Ossoff and Warnock's victories earlier this year highlighted a striking political shift in Georgia as the state was primarily held by Republicans for more than two decades.

The Northern District of Georgia U.S. attorney position has also been of political interest as it has been filled by three different people just this year.

In January, it was held by Trump's 2017 appointee, Byung “BJay” Pak, a former Republican legislator who made history as the first-ever Korean American to hold the position of U.S. attorney.

Pak abruptly resigned from his position without providing a reason just a day after the release of an audio recording between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump pressured the state’s top elections official to help him “find” enough votes to overturn the Nov. 3 election that Joe Biden won by nearly 12,000 votes.

Also on the recording, Trump references a “never-Trumper U.S. attorney there.”

Following Pak's resignation, Bobby Christine, who had been the U.S. attorney for the Savannah-based Southern District of Georgia since 2017, was then tapped by Trump to takeover the Atlanta-based Northern District as well.

On Feb. 1, Christine also suddenly resigned from his position in the Northern District after dismissing election fraud claims, and resigned from the Southern District position a week later.

For the second time in less than a month, another new federal prosecutor was appointed.

Longtime first assistant U.S. attorney in the Atlanta office, Kurt Erskine, stepped in and now serves as acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District.

If selected to takeover for Erskine, Buchanan will lead over 90 attorneys and a total of more than 200 employees, serving six million citizens in a jurisidction that ranges from Georgia's northern mountains to the Atlanta suburbs.

Biden has now nominated 37 people to serve as U.S. attorneys, although some legal experts have been frustrated by the slow pace of federal appointments. In Georgia, Biden also recently tapped Victoria Marie Calvert and Sarah Elisabeth Geraghty to fill long-vacant federal judgeships.

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