Aide to Attorney General Is Interim U.S. Attorney
Saturday, September 23, 2006
The Justice Department yesterday appointed Jeffrey A. Taylor, the counselor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, to be U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
Taylor succeeds Kenneth L. Wainstein in running the largest U.S. attorney's office in the country. For now, Taylor will be interim U.S. attorney; President Bush can nominate him to take the job, subject to Senate confirmation.
Wainstein was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday to a new post in the Justice Department, assistant attorney general for national security, after his nomination had been held up for months by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.). Levin had been seeking FBI documents relating to its agents' concerns about mistreatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay while Wainstein was a top aide to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.
Taylor could begin his new job as early as next week.
Before working for Gonzales in the Justice Department, Taylor was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee from 1999 to 2002, working on such issues as criminal law, terrorism and national security. Previously, he was federal prosecutor in San Diego from 1995 to 1999. Several prosecutors in Washington said they looked forward to working with him because of his reputation and his line prosecutor experience.
"Jeff is a dedicated public servant and a valued advisor," Gonzales said in a statement released by the Justice Department. "He will continue to be an asset to the Department of Justice in his new capacity as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia."
In an internal memo to the staff at the U.S. attorney's office, Wainstein yesterday hailed Taylor as "the real deal -- a proven and strong prosecutor."
Taylor was a law clerk for Chief Justice John C. Mowbray of the Supreme Court of Nevada from 1991 to 1992 and then worked for three years in private practice. He graduated from Harvard Law School and received a bachelor's degree from Stanford University.