Nominations for US Attorneys for California, Six Other States Sent to Congress

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump nominated U.S. attorneys for California and six other states on Wednesday, choosing mostly individuals with years of experience as state prosecutors.

Trump tapped McGregor Scott as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California. a post he held for nearly six years under President George W. Bush.

Scott, 54, is currently a partner at the firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he specializes in white collar criminal defense.

He served Shasta County district attorney from 1997 to 2003, and a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County from 1989 to 1997.

Scott retired in 2008 from the Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel after 23 years of service. He earned a bachelor of arts from Santa Clara University in 1985 and his law degree from the UC Hastings College of Law in 1989.

“I’m honored to have been selected for this position and I’m grateful to the president,” Scott said after his nomination was announced. “I very much look forward to getting back to work with the great people of the U.S. attorney’s office here in the Eastern District of California.”

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that his previous experience will serve him well.

“McGregor Scott was vetted by my bipartisan judicial selection committee and found to be a qualified choice for U.S. attorney. Committee members also spoke with attorneys and judges in the Eastern District and found him to be respected by his peers,” Feinstein said. “I believe he will serve the Eastern District well.”

John Anderson, a former federal prosecutor, was nominated to be the next U.S. attorney for New Mexico.

Anderson, who was among two candidates suggested to the White House by New Mexico’s congressional delegation, is with the Santa Fe law firm Holland & Hart.

The other candidate was Fred Federici, currently an assistant U.S. attorney in Albuquerque.

At Holland & Hart, Anderson w specializes in complex investigations at his law firm, also advising clients through government investigations and conducting inquiries into companies to help them avoid government investigations in the future.

Anderson is a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, a group that helps compile the rosters of attorneys the court can draw from to represent poor litigants.

Trump chose Grayson County, Texas District Attorney Joseph Brown to serve as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.

Brown has been a state prosecutor for 17 years and hails himself as a “conservative leader” who takes a “no-nonsense approach to fighting crime” on his campaign website.

Brown also served on the state board for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department from 2009 to 2014 and hails his work in the Grayson County Drug Court on his campaign site.

“Our district attorney also knows that every case is different and every person charged with a crime is different and that justice does not always require a prison sentence,” Brown’s campaign site states. “The decisions a district attorney makes are difficult. Brown’s office has looked for innovative ways to deal with the complex issues such as drug addiction and mental health problems.”

Brown once took issue with a Dallas Morning News article calling for the end to solitary confinement, saying in a June 2016 post on Twitter that “prison is not a day care.”  He also once turned down an objection from the Freedom from Religion Foundation to Grayson County including “God Bless America” on its website.

Staying in the Lone Star State, Trump chose Ryan Patrick as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

Patrick served as a state judge in Texas from 2012 to 2016. He now works as the managing partner of a law firm that carries his name, having also served from 2006 to 2012 as a state prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Brandon Fremin, a Marine Corps veteran, has been nominated to be U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana.

Fremin heads the criminal division of the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, having also served as a state and federal prosecutor in Louisiana after leaving the Marine Corps with an honorable discharge in 2002.

He received his law degree from Louisiana State University and his bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, called Fremin “an excellent choice” and said he looks forward to his Senate confirmation.

“Brandon served his country as a Marine. I anticipate him taking the same intensity to this job,” Cassidy said in a statement.

While some of Trump’s choices came from state-level jobs he stayed in Washington for one. Robert Hur is currently principal associate deputy attorney general and a top aide to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whom Hur would replace as Maryland’s federal prosecutor if confirmed.

Hur was formerly a partner with King & Spalding in Washington, where he focused on government investigations and complex litigation, according to the White House statement.

He’s also a former assistant federal prosecutor in Maryland. From 2007 to 2014, Hur prosecuted gang violence, drug trafficking, firearm offenses and white-collar crimes.

Hur, a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford law school, clerked for the late William Rehnquist, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For Connecticut, Trump tapped a veteran mob prosecutor, who investigated allegations of the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes, and is nicknamed “the Bull” as Connecticut’s next U.S. attorney.

John Durham was named interim U.S. attorney last week in anticipation of his nomination.

Durham joined the U.S. Justice Department’s Organized Crime Strike Force in the 1980s and has had a hand in every federal prosecution in Connecticut including the corruption convictions of Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim and former Gov. John G. Rowland.

But he’s also been asked to take the lead on other investigations outside of Connecticut.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton’s Attorney General Janet Reno chose him to investigate ties between FBI agents and their organized crime informants in Boston. He discovered evidence that showed corrupt law enforcement helped frame and wrongly convicted four men for a 1965 murder. The estates of two of the men who died in prison and the two surviving men who spent decades behind bars sued the FBI and won a $101.7 million settlement in 2007.

Then Michael Mukasey, President George W. Bush’s last attorney general, summoned Durham to Washington to investigate the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes of terror suspects.

Durham, 67, has four grown children and has spent most of his career as the top deputy in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Haven. His nomination is expected to have the support of both U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.

 

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