First African American female Attorney General
"Loretta Lynch is an American attorney who served as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015 to succeed Eric Holder. Previously, she held the position for United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York under both the Clinton (1999–2001) and Obama administrations (2010–15). As U.S. Attorney, Lynch oversaw federal prosecutions in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.
Lynch graduated from Harvard Law School in 1984. She then practiced law in New York and became a federal prosecutor in 1990, rising to become head of the Eastern District office. She later returned to private law practice, until she again became the top district prosecutor. From 2003 to 2005, she served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
On November 8, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated her to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General. On February 26, 2015, the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate recommended her confirmation by a 12–8 vote, with all Democrats of the committee and three Republicans in favor. On April 23, 2015, Lynch was confirmed by the Senate by a 56–43 vote, making her the second African-American, the second woman, and the first African-American woman to be confirmed for the position. She was sworn in as Attorney General on April 27, 2015.
Lynch earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and American literature from Harvard College in 1981 and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1984, where she was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.
Lynch's first legal job was as a litigation associate for Cahill Gordon & Reindel. She joined the Eastern District as a drug and violent-crime prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in 1990. From 1994 to 1998, she served as the chief of the Long Island office and worked on several political corruption cases involving the government of Brookhaven, New York. From 1998 to 1999, she was the chief assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District and headed the Brooklyn office.
In 1999, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. During her term as U.S. Attorney, Lynch oversaw prosecution of New York City police officers in the Abner Louima case.
In 2001, Lynch left the U.S. Attorney's office to become a partner at Hogan & Hartson (later Hogan Lovells). She remained there until January 20, 2010, when President Barack Obama nominated Lynch to again serve as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. From 2003 to 2005, she was a member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Following the July 2014 death of Eric Garner, an unarmed man who died after being held in a department-prohibited chokehold by a New York City police officer, Lynch agreed to meet with Garner's family to discuss possible federal prosecution of the officer believed to be responsible for Garner's death.
Lynch's office prosecuted Republican congressman Michael Grimm; prosecuted Democratic politicians Pedro Espada Jr. and William Boyland, Jr.; investigated Citigroup over mortgage securities sold by the bank, resulting in a US$7 billion settlement; and was involved in the US$1.2 billion settlement with HSBC over violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.
While Lynch was US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, she supervised the investigation into senior FIFA officials from its earliest stages. The investigation culminated in the indictment of 14 senior FIFA officials and sports marketing executives shortly after Lynch was confirmed as Attorney General. For her work in the 2015 FIFA corruption case, Lynch was presented with the 3rd annual Golden Blazer by Roger Bennett and Michael Davies…
On November 8, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Lynch for the position of U.S. Attorney General, to succeed Eric Holder, who had previously announced his resignation, pending confirmation of his replacement. She was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 26, 2015, and approved by the Senate in a 56-43 vote on April 23, thereby becoming the first African-American woman; the second African-American after Holder; and the second woman, after Janet Reno; to hold this office.
In July 2015, after the Charleston church shooting, Lynch announced the suspected shooter Dylann Roof would be charged with a hate crime. On May 24, 2016, she further announced that the Justice Department would seek the death penalty for Roof.
On December 7, 2015, Lynch stated the Justice Department would be investigating the Chicago Police Department to see if there was a potential violation of civil rights in the case of Laquan McDonald…
After the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Lynch's name was mentioned as being a potential nominee to replace him. On March 8, a Justice Department spokesperson said Lynch had asked the White House to withdraw her from consideration.
In April 2016, Lynch took an active role in addressing what she called the difficulty of re-entry into society by felons, writing an op-ed and making public appearances in support of raising awareness of this blight on their transition, also calling on governors to make it easier for released felons to achieve state-issued identification…
In October 2016, Lynch removed the Brooklyn FBI agents and federal prosecutors from the death of Eric Garner case, replacing them with agents from outside New York. The local FBI agents and federal prosecutors had determined that charges should not be brought in the case, prompting strong disagreement from attorneys in the Washington, D.C. office of the Department's Civil Rights Division. Lynch’s intervention has been called “highly unusual”." (1)