Biden Nominates Damian Williams as U.S. Attorney for Manhattan

The selection is part of a slate of nominations for top law enforcement posts in the country, including for three offices that tend to investigate the Justice Department’s most prominent cases.,

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WASHINGTON — President Biden nominated Damian Williams as the U.S. attorney for Manhattan on Tuesday, naming the first Black man to lead one of the most powerful prosecutor’s offices in the country as part of a slate of picks for top law enforcement posts.

Mr. Williams would lead the Southern District of New York after working as a prosecutor in the renowned office for nearly a decade, most recently overseeing a unit that specializes in securities fraud. The office has handled some of the nation’s most politically sensitive cases, including several inquiries of people close to former President Donald J. Trump.

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If confirmed, Damian Williams would be the first Black man to lead one of the most powerful prosecutor’s offices in the country.Credit…United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York

Mr. Biden also announced nominees to supervise two other offices that tend to investigate the Justice Department’s more prominent cases, including Breon S. Peace, a former federal prosecutor, as the U.S. attorney for Brooklyn and Jessica D. Aber as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where she has worked since 2009. All three nominations would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

The timing of the appointments is crucial to Mr. Biden’s bid to curb gun violence and prosecute gun trafficking, according to a White House statement provided to The New York Times. The president pledged this summer to make federal tools available to the state and local authorities to combat an uptick of violent crime in big cities.

“These individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House statement said.

Mr. Biden also tapped Carla B. Freedman, a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of New York, to lead the office, setting her up to be the first Senate-confirmed woman to fill the position. The other nominations include William J. Ihlenfeld II as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, Christopher R. Kavanaugh as the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Darcie N. McElwee as the U.S. attorney for the District of Maine, and William S. Thompson as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.

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