Obama to nominate Loretta Lynch for AG seat

November 7, 2014 Heather Chin
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Loretta Elizabeth Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has been nominated for the role of U.S. Attorney General (AG).

President Barack Obama selected Lynch to succeed outgoing AG Eric Holder, a native New Yorker from the Bronx and Queens. Explaining his choice, Obama said he sought “somebody who shares [Holder’s] fierce commitment to equal justice under the law” and “it’s pretty hard to be more qualified for this job than Loretta.”

“Throughout her 30-year career, she has distinguished herself as tough, as fair, an independent lawyer [who has] spent years in the trenches as a prosecutor, aggressively fighting terrorism, financial fraud and cybercrime, all while vigorously defending civil rights,” Obama said.

Lynch, 55, worked her way up the ranks in Brooklyn at the Eastern District office, serving as lead prosecutor in cases ranging from bank security to political corruption, mafia busts to police brutality. Among her most well-known cases are the 1997 assault of Abner Louima by officers from Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct and Brooklyn Congressmember Michael Grimm’s alleged acts of fraud and tax evasion, which are currently awaiting trial.

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Lynch earned her current position as U.S. Attorney after being nominated by former President Bill Clinton in 1999 and by Obama in 2010. She also spent several years in private practice and as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Her New York State counterpart, Eric Schneiderman, congratulated her and touted their teamwork over the years, which resulted in successes such as “recovering millions of Medicaid dollars.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio lauded Lynch’s nomination, stating that Americans will get to meet a woman who New Yorkers already know “for her character, toughness and uncompromising sense of justice” and for “never [being] afraid to hold those in power accountable under the law, or to fight for those facing inequity.”

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton also praised Lynch as “a remarkable prosecutor” who “has been a great partner for the NYPD and a great friend to me.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo described her as a “trailblazer” with a “well-deserved reputation as an aggressive but fair prosecutor” in both the criminal and civil arenas. “I am confident that U.S. Attorney Lynch will bring those same qualities to her new position as our country’s top law enforcement official,” Cuomo said.

Lynch was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and graduated from Harvard Law School.

If confirmed, Lynch will be the 83rd AG of the United States.


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