Court extends tenure of top federal prosecutor in Manhattan

National News

NEW YORK (AP) — The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan will remain in her role until President-elect Joe Biden decides whether to replace her upon taking office.

The federal court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday extended the tenure of acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, the second woman to helm one of the country’s most prestigious prosecutor’s offices.

“It is the privilege of a lifetime to lead the women and men of this District as they pursue justice without fear or favor and write the latest chapter in this Office’s proud legacy,” Strauss said in a statement.

Strauss, 73, took office in June upon the ouster of Geoffrey S. Berman, who as U.S. attorney led investigations into several allies of President Donald Trump. Berman later told Congress that Attorney General William Barr “repeatedly urged” him to take a new job heading up the Department of Justice’s Civil Division — an offer he rebuffed.

Berman stepped down only after receiving assurances he would be succeeded by Strauss, a veteran prosecutor involved in some of the office’s highest-profile cases.

Her term as acting U.S. attorney had been set to expire Jan. 15. Tuesday’s appointment will remove the “acting” from her title.

The changing of administrations often means a fresh slate of U.S. attorneys, political appointees who enjoy wide power to bring cases within their districts and draw on the investigative prowess of federal law enforcement agencies.

Strauss, like Biden, is a Democrat.

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