Short list for high-pro­file US at­tor­ney jobs

Imperial Valley Press - - OPINION -

NEW YORK (AP) — Repub­li­can politi­cians in New York have been putting to­gether short lists of po­ten­tial can­di­dates to re­place the top U.S. prose­cu­tors in New York City, a hub for ter­ror­ism, in­sider-trad­ing and an­ti­cor­rup­tion tri­als.

Some of the peo­ple be­ing talked about as can­di­dates in­clude the son of a former U.S. at­tor­ney gen­eral, a former Fox News le­gal an­a­lyst and a pros­e­cu­tor who had a chance to go af­ter the head of the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund but de­clined.

Who­ever is cho­sen by the White House to be­come the U.S. at­tor­neys in Man­hat­tan and Brook­lyn will be in­her­it­ing a num­ber of high-pro­file, po­ten­tially po­lit­i­cally fraught in­ves­ti­ga­tions and prose­cu­tions that were pre­vi­ously be­ing over­seen by prose­cu­tors ap­pointed by former Pres­i­dent Barack Obama who were abruptly dis­missed last week.

“I as­sume ev­ery­thing’s go­ing to be ex­pe­dited,” said U.S. Rep. Peter King, a Repub­li­can in­volved in help­ing draft lists of rec­om­mended can­di­dates.

Among the peo­ple seen as lead­ing can­di­dates to re­place Preet Bharara as the U.S. at­tor­ney in Man­hat­tan is Marc Mukasey, the son of former U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Michael Mukasey, who served in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

Mukasey, a former fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor, is cur­rently the head of the white-col­lar de­fense prac­tice at Green­berg Trau­rig, where he is a part­ner with former New York City Mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani, who’s a close ally of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Mukasey is Gi­u­liani’s fa­vorite for the post, King said, but if picked, he could face po­ten­tial con­flicts of in­ter­est be­cause of work he has done as a de­fense lawyer.

One of his clients has been former Fox News chair­man Roger Ailes, who re­signed amid sex­ual ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions. The U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Man­hat­tan re­cently sub­poe­naed a former Fox News em­ployee to tes­tify be­fore a grand jury ex­am­in­ing how 21st Cen­tury Fox Inc. han­dled the ha­rass­ment scan­dal. Fox News has pre­vi­ously con­firmed that it was com­mu­ni­cat­ing with fed­eral prose­cu­tors and would co­op­er­ate with all in­quiries.

Mukasey de­clined to speak with The As­so­ci­ated Press but told the New York Law Jour­nal last month that while he loved pri­vate prac­tice, “if asked to serve my coun­try, that is some­thing I take very se­ri­ously.”

Other po­lit­i­cally charged in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der­way in the Man­hat­tan fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice in­clude a probe of on­line com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween a teenage girl and former U.S. Rep. An­thony Weiner, a Demo­crat.

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