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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 14 - Volume 42 Issue 46
HRC praises Attorney General nominee
Section One
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HRC praises Attorney General nominee

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) praised Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch in a statement released November 7.

'Loretta Lynch will have big shoes to fill thanks to the incredible leadership of outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder and his unprecedented commitment to LGBT equality,' said HRC President Chad Griffin.

'Based on her strong record on civil and human rights as a U.S. Attorney, we have no doubt she will continue that leadership as Attorney General. We look forward to working with her to ensure equal justice under the law for all LGBT Americans.'

President Obama nominated Lynch to fill the post being left by current Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder announced his retirement in September, but said he would continue in office until a successor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Lynch currently serves as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. She held the same position in 1999-2001, under the Clinton administration. George W. Bush replaced her when he became President, but Obama reappointed her in 2010.

In a statement, White House spokesman Josh Earnest called Lynch 'a strong, independent prosecutor.'

If confirmed she would be the first woman Attorney General, and the second African American, after Holder, to hold that position.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he expected the confirmation process to be held up until the newly elected Senate - which will have a Republican majority - convenes in January. Neither President Obama nor Democratic Senate leaders insisted on confirmation during the so-called 'lame-duck' session of Congress, while Democrats still have a majority in the Senate.

The senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and presumed chair once Republicans assume control of the Senate in January, Chuck Grassley, said she will 'will receive a very fair, but thorough, vetting' by the panel.

'I'm hopeful that her tenure, if confirmed, will restore confidence in the Attorney General as a politically independent voice for the American people,' Grassley said.

Unlike Holder, she is not thought to be personally close to the President, and this will probably help her avoid Republican obstruction of her confirmation. She did build a close relationship with Holder through her work on the Attorney General's advisory committee, which she has chaired since the beginning of 2013.

Her office has worked closely with the Justice Department on several big corporate fraud cases, and helped investigate Citigroup's sale of phony mortgage securities, which led to a $7 billion settlement in July.

Lynch's office also was involved in the December 2012 $1.2 billion accord with HSBC over the bank's lapses in its anti-money laundering controls.

In her first stint as U.S. Attorney Lynch worked on the prosecution of the New York police officers charged with torturing Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. More recently, her office has brought several high-profile indictments, including the April fraud prosecution of Republican U.S. Representative Michael Grimm.

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