Schumer pushes for appointment of first Black U.S. attorney in Manhattan

The Senate majority leader is advocating for Damian Williams to take on the role

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Federal prosecutor Damian Williams could be New York City’s next U.S. attorney.

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Williams, 40, would be the first Black man appointed to the role and is backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer endorsed the born and bred New Yorker to President Joe Biden on Tuesday, per the NY Daily News.

“He is ready to take the helm to steer the Southern District forward into a bright future,” said Schumer in a statement.

Williams currently holds the title of chief, securities and commodities fraud task force for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York and according to Schumer, has “a strong commitment to equal justice,” and “tremendous legal acumen.”

Damian Williams Image: Practicing Law Institute

The Brooklyn-born prosecutor is the son of Jamaican immigrant and holds degrees from the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, and Yale Law School.

He served in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office since 2012 and his cases include prosecuting former New York Rep. Chris Collins and former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

A source close to the NY Daily News said Biden may act on Schumer’s request who is also pushing for the appointments of Breon Peace for the Eastern District and Trini Ross for the Western District to the administration of President Joe Biden and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“I am confident all three of these legal leaders will pursue the facts and justice without fear or favor and will greatly help rebuild public confidence in an unbiased and professional Department of Justice. I am particularly proud to recommend the first African American to lead what many consider the most consequential prosecutorial office in America, the Southern District,” Schumer said in a statement.       

The New York senator added that Williams, Peace and Ross would use their expertise to ensure that equal justice was given to all.

“In recommending each of these experienced and talented leaders for such important positions, I am confident that the lives of all New Yorkers will be made better and that these prosecutors will work hard to confront wrongdoing in all its forms in a fair and focused manner,” Schumer said.

“Each of these exemplary public servants embodies the phrase ‘equal justice for all’ and holds a deep understanding that the work ahead will require solid, steady and unwavering leadership to ensure this state—and this country—deliver a fairer, more inclusive and just future for each and every one of us.” 

Schumer has weighed in on other political issues in his state recently. He feels strongly about the allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, per theGrio,

During an appearance on SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show Senator  Schumer shared his thoughts about the alleged inappropriate behavior displayed by Cuomo as alleged by multiple women.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about what’s going on with your governor in the state of New York,” said Madison on a recent episode. “What is your position on how it’s being handled?”

“Ok, let me tell you my position. Let me tell you. First, the allegations of these women are serious. They’re deeply troubling. Last night’s was nauseating,” he began. “Women have to be listened to. I’ve long believed Joe, that sexual harassment is never acceptable, and can’t be tolerated.”

“So what I called for early on was that our very capable Attorney General, New York State Attorney General, [Letitia] Tish James, very smart, very courageous, I’ve known her for 30 years, conduct an independent investigation, and she is,” he continued.

“I believe she will turn over every stone. I believe she will pursue every lead. She has complete subpoena power. And I also believe that she will not let any outside or political interference stop her from getting all the facts out.”

When pressed about what he thought of the investigation he responded, “Look, I have a lot of faith in Tish James’ investigation. Yes…By the way, she is the highest Black woman ever elected in New York, so there you go.”

Earlier this month, the governor’s brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomobroke his silence about the allegations to his viewing audience, acknowledging their concerns.

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“Before we start tonight, let me say something that I am sure very obvious to you who watch my show, and thank you for that. You are straight with me. I will be straight with you,” he began. “Obviously, I am aware of what is going on with my brother, and obviously, I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so.”

Additional reporting by Blue Telusma

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