Merrick Garland sends arms traffickers to 5 cities
The Department of Justice is making efforts in five US cities to reduce gun violence by addressing the trafficking and prosecution of crimes that help criminals get their hands on guns. Attorney General Merrick Garland will deploy the strike forces to the arms trade in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Garland visited Chicago on Thursday afternoon to meet with local officials.
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden nominates eight new leaders for US legal positions across the country, including the office that oversees the prosecution of hundreds of defendants indicted in the Capitol Building January 6 riot.
The nominees announced by the White House on Monday come as the Justice Department continues to complete its leadership team led by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who traveled to Chicago last week to announce an initiative to combat arms trafficking corridors. The 93 US Department of Justice attorneys who are responsible for federal law enforcement in their respective counties are likely to play a key role in fighting violent crime.
If approved by the Senate, nominees would have offices in the District of Columbia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington state. Most would be historic premieres, including the first black or female lawyers to run their districts, the Biden government said.
The eight were selected “for their commitment to law enforcement, their professionalism, experience and credentials in the field, their commitment to equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” according to the White House.
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 23: United States President Joe Biden speaks about gun crime prevention measures as Attorney General Merrick Garland watches the White House in Washington, DC on June 23, 2021 (Photo by Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)
The attorneys represent the first group of U.S. attorneys proposed by Biden’s White House, which is still working to fill key positions in the Justice Department six months after taking office. The White House last week announced the appointment of an attorney to head its antitrust division, but withdrew its candidate for head of the civil division. No candidate for the lead Attorney General has been announced.
Among the candidates announced on Monday is Matthew Graves, a former fraud and corruption attorney for the District of Columbia District Attorney who is selected to head that office at a time when there are hundreds of cases related to it consumed during the Capitol Riots.
The Trump administration commissioner who held the post during the insurrection, Michael Sherwin, later left the Justice Department. The position was temporarily held by Channing Phillips, who held the same role during the Obama administration.
Rachael Rollins, the District Attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts, would be the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. attorney in the state. Erek Barron, a former federal attorney and political advisor to Biden and current state lawmaker, would be the first black US attorney in the Maryland county, the White House said.
Other nominees include Zachary Myers, a Maryland federal attorney specializing in national security and cyber affairs who, according to the White House, would be the first black US attorney in the southern Indiana district; and Clifford Johnson, who would be the first black attorney to head the Northern District of Indiana after spending nearly 35 years in that office.
Justice Department environmental attorney Vanessa Waldref would be the first woman to head the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington’s Eastern District. And Nicholas Brown, who was federal attorney and general counsel to the governor, would be the first black attorney to head the Western District of Washington, which includes Seattle.
The Justice Department announced in February that it is calling for the resignation of most of the U.S. attorneys appointed during President Donald Trump’s tenure, despite leaving David Weiss, the chief federal attorney in Delaware, in his place where law enforcement officers are a criminal Have conducted tax investigations with Biden’s son Hunter.
US attorneys operate at the discretion of the president and are routinely appointed on the recommendation of a home state senator. For example, Trini Ross, a former federal attorney nominated as a US attorney for the Western District of New York in Buffalo, was recommended for the position by the state’s highest senator, Charles Schumer.
CONNECTED: Garland calls on the Senate to approve the ATF chief to fight gun violence