PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Saturday praised President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general, describing her as “a talented prosecutor with an impressive record.”
Obama announced Lynch’s nomination Saturday in a White House event. If confirmed, she would be the first black woman in the job. Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder was the first black head of the Justice Department.
“Loretta might be the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters and drug lords and terrorists, and still has the reputation for being a charming people person,” Obama said to laughter from those who packed the Roosevelt Room for the announcement.
Lynch said she was humbled and thrilled at the prospect of leading “the only Cabinet department named for an ideal.”
Lynch, 55, is the U.S. attorney for Eastern District of New York, which covers Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. She held the same position under President Bill Clinton.
Whitehouse said Holder will leave a restored and strengthened Justice Department and his successor must continue his commitment to independence and the rule of law.
Whitehouse congratulated Lynch on her nomination.
“I look forward to hearing more about her vision for the Department in the weeks ahead when the Judiciary Committee considers her nomination,” he said.
Whitehouse is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for Rhode Island.
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