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Damian Williams set to become Manhattan’s first Black U.S. Attorney

President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Williams and two other prosecutors to federal positions.

Damian Williams U.S Attorney’s Office

President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Damian Williams as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. If confirmed, Williams would be the first Black person to fulfill the role, which is the Justice Department’s highest-profile outpost.

According to NBC, Biden is also expected to nominate two other prosecutors to run U.S. Attorney’s offices in New York, including Trini Ross, who would be the first Black woman to lead the Western District in Buffalo.

Bloomberg reports that Williams was recommended for the job by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. The veteran prosecutor still needs to be formally nominated by the White House and considered by the Senate before he can be confirmed. Bloomberg adds that Schumer was looking to nominate either a woman or person of color with experience in prosecuting financial fraud cases for the role.

“He is ready to take the helm to steer the Southern District forward into a bright future,” Schumer of Williams in a statement.

Williams currently acts as Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Schumer added that he has “a strong commitment to equal justice” and “tremendous legal acumen.” The Brooklyn-born prosecutor is reportedly the son of Jamaican immigrant parents and has degrees from the University of Cambridge, Harvard University and Yale Law School.

Schumer also recommended Breon Peace, who is also African American, as the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, which is the second leading office after Manhattan. For his third pick, Schumer recommended Trini Ross, a former Justice Department official, who would become the first Black U.S. Attorney for Buffalo.

“I am confident all three of these legal leaders will pursue the facts and justice without fear or favor and will greatly help rebuild public confidence in an unbiased and professional Department of Justice,” Schumer added in a statement. “I am particularly proud to recommend the first African American to lead what many consider the most consequential prosecutorial office in America, the Southern District.”

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