President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated veteran prosecutor Damian Williams to be the US attorney for Manhattan, which would put him in charge of one of the most high-profile federal prosecutor offices in the country.

If confirmed by the US Senate, Williams, 40, would become the first black man to oversee the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. He currently serves as chief of a securities task force in that office.

Biden also announced seven other US attorney nominations, including the Eastern District of New York as well as the Eastern and Western districts of Virginia.

'The President has launched a comprehensive effort to take on the uptick in gun crime that has been taking place the last 18 months – putting more cops on the beat, supporting community prevention programs, and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking,' the White House's statement said.

'Confirming US Attorneys as the chief federal law enforcement officers in their district is important for these efforts.'

Sia Sanneh (left), Terry McAuliffe (center) and Damien Williams (right) attend Thomas Dunne Books-St. Martin's Press Party

Sia Sanneh (left), Terry McAuliffe (center) and Damien Williams (right) attend Thomas Dunne Books-St. Martin's Press Party

Biden on Tuesday nominated the veteran prosecutor to be the US attorney for Manhattan, which would put him in charge of one of the most high-profile prosecutor offices in the US

Biden on Tuesday nominated the veteran prosecutor to be the US attorney for Manhattan, which would put him in charge of one of the most high-profile prosecutor offices in the US

The US Attorney's Office in Manhattan handles many of the country's most complex prosecutions of Wall Street executives. 

Its cases range from insider trading and securities fraud, to corruption and terrorism cases.

It is currently investigating former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who headed the office in the 1980's, and more recently became known for representing then-President Donald Trump.

The office is also prosecuting British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, charged with helping financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein groom teenage girls for sex.


She has pleaded not guilty.

Before Williams' current post, he prosecuted former New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for bribery and extortion and also prosecuted the case against former U.S. Representative Christopher Collins for insider trading and lying to the FBI.

For U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, headquartered in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, Biden nominated Breon Peace, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner with the law firm Cleary Gottlieb.

Biden also announced seven other US attorney nominations, including the Eastern District of New York as well as the Eastern and Western districts of Virginia

Biden also announced seven other US attorney nominations, including the Eastern District of New York as well as the Eastern and Western districts of Virginia

The seal of the United States Department of Justice is seen on the building exterior of the United States Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan

The seal of the United States Department of Justice is seen on the building exterior of the United States Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan

Williams is pictured at a 2007 book launch

Williams is pictured at a 2007 book launch

That office is handling a high-profile criminal case against Trump's billionaire ally Thomas Barrack, who faces charges of illegally lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. Barrack has pleaded not guilty.

For the Eastern District of Virginia, an office best known for handling many of the country's high-profile terrorism and national security-related prosecutions, Biden nominated veteran federal prosecutor Jessica Aber.

He also is tapping Christopher Kavanaugh, an assistant U.S. attorney who helped prosecute self-professed neo-Nazi James Fields for killing a counterprotester at a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as US attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

The other nominees were Carla Freedman for the Northern District of New York, William Ihlenfeld for the Northern District of West Virginia, Darcie McElwee for the District of Maine, and William Thompson for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Williams would be replacing Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss, who herself replaced Phreet Bharara and Geoffrey Berman after then-President Trump fired the two.in 2017 and 2020, respectively.


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