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Richard Donoghue named Interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District

January 4, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Richard Donoghue. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office
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Richard P. Donoghue has been named the interim U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday. The appointment will last 120 days and will take effect on Friday, Jan. 5.

Donoghue was an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the EDNY from 2000 to 2011, where he served as Chief of the Criminal Division and Chief of the Long Island Criminal Division. In his announcement, Sessions made it clear that his appointment is all about going after the crime syndicate MS-13.

“When I became attorney general, President Trump gave me clear orders to go after MS-13,” said Sessions. “Since then, this Department of Justice has been relentless, arresting hundreds of MS-13 members from Los Angeles to Long Island. Today, I am appointing someone as interim United States attorney for Eastern District of New York who has tremendous experience prosecuting MS-13: Richard Donoghue.

“As a federal prosecutor for more than a decade — including as Criminal Chief of that office — he has been involved in the prosecution of gang members, terrorists and corrupt public officials,” Sessions continued. “Every MS-13 member in Long Island should know Richard Donoghue will use all the tools at his disposal to get criminals off our streets.”

Donoghue is replacing Bridget M. Rohde, who served as acting U.S. Attorney since Trump asked for 46 U.S. attorneys to resign last March including Brooklyn’s Robert Capers. Rohde will resume her role as first assistant U.S. attorney.

This is a temporary appointment by the attorney general. In order for Donoghue to shed the interim tag, he would have to be nominated by Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

As an AUSA, Donoghue helped to prosecute cases involving MS-13 racketeering cases, violent crime, white collar crime, public integrity offenses and drug trafficking. As U.S. attorney for EDNY, he’ll also have his hands full prosecuting terrorism trials which happen regularly in Brooklyn.

Donoghue, who served most recently as chief litigation counsel for CA Technologies, where he oversaw the company’s litigation matters worldwide, previously served from 1993 to 2000 as an active duty member of the U.S. Army JAG Corps, where he rose to the rank of military magistrate judge. From 1993 through 1995, he was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.

Donoghue has amassed a serious amount of awards during his career including honors from both the legal community and the military. He received the NYC Bar Association’s Henry L. Stimson Medal in 2007, and the Eastern District Association’s Charles E. Rose Award in 2009. While serving in the military, he received a Meritorious Service Medal in 1999 and 2000, an Army Commendation Medal twice in 1996, an Army Achievement Medal in 1993 and a Humanitarian Service Medal in 1997.

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