May 24, 2022

Biden taps nominee to fill U.S. attorney post vacated by John Durham

In an effort to fill the vacancy created when now-Special Counsel John Durham resigned as U.S. attorney for Connecticut back in early 2021, President Joe Biden has tapped Vanessa Avery for the role of top federal law enforcement official in the state, as the Hartford Courant reports.

Avery currently serves as head of the Division of Enforcement and Public Protection for the attorney general’s office in Connecticut and has also spent time working as an assistant attorney general in the same office, according to the Washington Examiner.

In addition, Avery’s professional experience includes her tenure as an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut, work in the Department of Justice’s Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division, as well as time spent as a litigation lawyer in private practice.

If ultimately confirmed to the new post, Avery would become the first Black female to hold the position, taking over from Leonard Boyle, who has served in the role on an interim basis since Durham’s departure and his subsequent spearheading of a far-reaching probe into the origins of the Trump—Russia collusion investigation.

Avery’s nomination was announced in conjunction with five other selections to fill U.S. attorney positions in locations across the country, according to a press release from the White House.

“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 release declared.

Biden’s choice of Avery for the role was lauded by her current boss, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who said, “She is universally respected by every colleague she has worked with and has deep connections across the Connecticut legal community.”

Democrat Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont echoed Tong’s support for the selection, saying, according to the Courant, “It’s a really good choice – I talked with the senators about it and they’re very enthusiastic. I think it’s a good thing for Connecticut.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called Avery “a proven prosecutor – tough and fair – who has deep roots in her community and a lifetime of service,” adding that “she’ll follow the facts and law to deter and punish wrongdoers and fight discrimination” and indicating his expectation of “strong bipartisan support” for her confirmation.

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