Obama to Nominate Loretta Lynch, Federal Prosecutor for Long Island, Next AG

Loretta Lynch
US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch.

President Obama will nominate Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which includes Long Island, as to replace outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation in September, according to the White House.

The announcement will come Saturday in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, according to a statement from the administration. The news comes after widespread new reports Friday speculating about Lynch’s possible ascension to the top post at the U.S. Department of Justice.

When asked for a response regarding the reports, Lynch’s spokeswoman at the US Attorney’s office said, “we have no comment.” If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she will be the first African American woman to hold the post.

Speculation about President Obama’s pick to replace Holder has picked up once the midterm elections have passed. News reports following Holder’s announcement said Obama would nominate a candidate sometime after the election, which did not go well for Democrats.

When a reporter broached the subject at a press conference on Wednesday, Obama declined to discuss the matter before a formal announcement is made.

“We have a number of outstanding candidates who we’re taking a look at now, and in due course I will have an announcement,” Obama said. “But I’m confident that we’ll find somebody who is well-qualified, will elicit the confidence of the American people, will uphold their constitutional obligations and rule of law, and will get confirmed by the Senate.”

As the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch is charged with leading federal investigations in Brooklyn and Nassau and Suffolk counties. She has served in that position since 2010, when she was appointed by Obama. She held the same position from 1999 to 2001, under President Bill Clinton.

Lynch was appointed by Holder to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee in 2010, and was elevated to chair in 2013.

In recent years, Lynch has prosecuted white collar criminals—the most high-profile being the successful prosecution of “mini-Madoff” Nicholas Cosmo—Long Islanders linked to terrorism, gangs, and doctors overprescribing prescription painkillers, among other notable crimes.

Prior to her second stint as the Island’s top federal prosecutor, Lynch was a partner at Hogan & Hartson LLP.