The career of Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for attorney general

Meet Loretta Lynch, the next Attorney General of the United States.

On Nov. 8, 2014 President Barack Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as U.S. attorney general. If confirmed, Lynch will be the first African-American woman to hold the position. According to many White House officials, including White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, and Denis McDonough, President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Lynch is one of the strongest and most powerful prosecutors in the country.

A North Carolina native, Lynch earned her BA in English and American literature from Harvard College in 1981. She continued her education and completed her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1984. In 1990, she became a drug and violent crime prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Lynch served as the chief of the Long Island office from 1994-1998, and worked on several corruption cases involving the government of Brookhaven, New York. President Bill Clinton nominated Lynch to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where she oversaw the prosecution of New York City police officers in the Abner Louima case. Lynch held office in the Eastern District of New York until 2001, when she left office to become a partner at Hogan Lovells. She remained at the firm until 2010, when President Barack Obama nominated Lynch to serve as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for the second time.

Other highlights of Lynch’s career include serving as a member of the board at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003-2005 and earning a $7 billion settlement from the investigation of mortgage securities sold by Citigroup.  Lynch has specialized in her work on organized crime, terrorism and public corruption. Her office has always placed an emphasis on gang-related cases, most notably in a death-penalty conviction for the murder of a police officer committed by Ronell Wilson.

Despite her recent nomination, Lynch’s confirmation process will not began until early 2015, according to Harry Reid, Senate majority leader.  No official date has been set other than the assurance that it will occur after Jan. 1, 2015 This potentially poises Lynch’s confirmation as the first test of whether or not Republicans will maintain Obama’s nominations while they hold the majority in the senate.

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