By Alex Zank
Wanted: A U.S. attorney for a district that's seen some of the highest profile, most controversial cases in the country over the past several years.
Virginia Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are looking for candidates to serve as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where the docket regularly features prosecution of terrorism, espionage and financial fraud cases. The Pentagon, the CIA and the Norfolk Naval Base are within the borders of the district, which also includes Richmond.
Neil MacBride, who had served in the role under Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., resigned in September. During his time at the Alexandria, Va.-based office, MacBride oversaw the Wikileaks grand jury investigation, the leak prosecution of former CIA agent John Kiriakou and the case against alleged leaker Jeffrey Sterling.
In the Sterling case, the government is pressing forward to force the testimony of New York Times reporter James Risen. Earlier this week, the Richmond-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit declined to review a panel’s decision to compel Risen’s testimony. One judge, Roger Gregory, fired off the lone dissent. “An independent press is as indispensable to liberty as is an independent judiciary,” Gregory wrote.
MacBride hasn’t announced his post-DOJ plans. In August, he said he is “looking forward to taking a big chunk of time off to be with my family.” MacBride’s legal career included work for the firm that’s now DLA Piper. MacBride previously served as general counsel for the trade association Business Software Alliance. There, he oversaw the group’s copyright enforcement program.
Warner and Kaine will recommend qualified U.S. attorney candidates to President Obama. Obama’s pick would then go before the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.
Virginia’s Senators set a Friday, November 8 deadline for candidates to submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]
Contact Alex Zank at [email protected]