President Donald Trump has named Justin Herdman as his choice to take over as the top prosecutor in Washington D.C., The Hill reported.
It’s a prestigious role — the D.C. office is the largest in the country and is in charge of high-profile cases, such as those of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. The post has been filled on an interim basis since January of this year.
Interim U.S. Attorney for D.C. to be replaced
Herdman currently serves as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. He was nominated to the Ohio position by Trump in 2017 and was confirmed by the Senate with a simple voice vote at that time.
Should he be confirmed for this new posting in D.C., he will replace Acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Timothy Shea, who was elevated to that role by Attorney General Bill Barr in January after Shea’s predecessor was transferred elsewhere.
Shea’s appointment drew ire from Democrats, the media, career bureaucrats, and DOJ officials due to the fact that his close ties to Barr, having previously served as Barr’s senior counsel.
Accused by critics of politicizing the DOJ, it was Shea who oversaw the reduction in the recommended prison sentence for Trump associate Roger Stone, and it was Shea again who led the push to have all charges dropped against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
While those decisions sit well with President Trump and his supporters, they sparked outrage among the president’s critics and prompted a flurry of resignations in protest from career prosecutors with ties to the prior administration.
Due to the temporary nature of Shea’s appointment as acting U.S. Attorney for D.C., his tenure of no more than 120 days is set to expire in June. Shea is said to be moving on to serve as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, NBC reported.
Trump announces intent to nominate Herdman
According to the White House announcement, it would appear that Herdman is experienced and capable. Hopefully, he is cut from the same sort of cloth as Barr and Shea.
The Hill noted that Herdman, in his current role, serves as a co-chair for a DOJ task force focused on combating fraud and abuse related to prescription drugs. The White House noted that Herdman was also the vice-chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, which proposes recommendations for ways in which the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide can make improvements in functionality, management, and operations.
Prior to his current role, Herdman served in private practice as a civil and criminal litigant, which only adds to the experience gained from serving as an assistant U.S. Attorney in both the Northern Ohio district — where his focus was national security-related crimes — an assistant district attorney in New York City, and as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
If Herdman follows the path of Barr and Shea, Democrats and deep state careerists will likely be concerned about his nomination. The Senate must confirm him.