President Barack Obama has chosen Brooklyn prosecutor Loretta Lynch as his nominee to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder.
Lynch, 55, is in her second stint as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York and had originally been under consideration for the Justice Department’s No. 2 job. She rose as a contender for attorney general after former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler pulled herself out of contention for the post.
“Lynch is a strong, independent prosecutor who has twice led one of the most important U.S. attorney’s offices in the country,” according to a White House statement today.
Lynch, who would be the first black woman to lead the Justice Department, is regarded as a law-and-order prosecutor who took on banks and also developed a reputation for knowing how the Justice Department works.
Obama will announce his pick tomorrow at the White House, where he and Lynch will be joined by Holder, according to the statement.
Lynch was seen as having an easier path to confirmation than two others under consideration: Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who are closely tied to Obama’s record on issues that will be attacked by Republicans.
Lynch oversees federal prosecutions in an area of New York that includes Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and Long Island.
During her current tenure, the office negotiated a $1.92 billion money-laundering settlement with HSBC Holdings Plc in 2012 and is investigating whether banks violated anti-bribery laws by hiring the children of government officials in China to win business.
Lynch’s office aided in a federal investigation that resulted in Citigroup Inc.’s agreement in July to pay $7 billion in fines and consumer relief to resolve claims it misled investors about the quality of residential mortgage-backed bonds sold before the financial crisis. Her office was also involved in Bank of America Corp.’s $16.7 billion settlement to end federal and state probes into mortgage-bond sales.
If nominated and confirmed, Lynch would be the first U.S. attorney elevated directly to the top Justice Department job since the 1800s.
© Copyright 2023 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.