Biden nominates replacement for former Connecticut US Attorney John Durham

Just prior to the end of the Trump administration, former U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham was elevated from that role to be a special counsel tasked with investigating the origin of the false Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

Now, President Joe Biden has announced his nominee to fill the U.S. attorney role previously occupied by Durham in Connecticut, the Washington Examiner reports.

That nominee is Vanessa Avery, who, since last year, has served in the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office as chief of the Division of Enforcement and Public Protection.

Filling a key position

The White House issued a release this week announcing six new nominees to U.S. attorney positions across the country, one of which was Avery. Thus far, Biden has made 43 nominations out of a total of 93 U.S. attorneys nationwide, according to the Examiner.

“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 stated.

According to that White House release, Avery graduated from Yale University and obtained her law degree from Georgetown University, after which she entered private practice before a short stint in the Justice Department in 2004-2005 prior to returning to private practice again until 2014.

In 2014, she became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Connecticut office until she was named an Associate Attorney General in the state in 2019.

High praise

Local Fox affiliate WTIC reported that, if confirmed by the Senate, Avery would become the first Black woman to serve as the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut.

She is a native of New Haven and was praised by her current boss, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong (D), who provided a statement to the local outlet that he also posted on social media in a thread of tweets.

Tong described Avery as “exceptionally qualified, incredibly hardworking, and an excellent choice to serve as U.S. Attorney. She is universally respected by every colleague she has worked with and has deep connections across the Connecticut legal community.”

He went on to herald her “integrity” and “strong commitment to justice,” as well as her insistence on “accountability and respect for the rule of law.”

“I will miss her leadership and guidance here in the Office of the Attorney General, but am so proud of this achievement and look forward to working closely with her in this new well-deserved role should she be confirmed,” Tong added.

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