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Manhattan federal prosecutor to stay in office at present - Metro US

Manhattan federal prosecutor to stay in office at present

FILE PHOTO: Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwel in New York

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, will remain in her job for the present, federal officials said on Wednesday.

Strauss, based in Manhattan, occupies one of the nation’s most prominent federal prosecutor’s posts.

Her office is currently handling several high-profile criminal cases, including prosecutions of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two former associates of ex-President Donald Trump lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and of Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

Strauss began serving as acting U.S. Attorney last June after Trump and then-Attorney General William Barr moved to oust U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. When Berman resisted efforts to persuade him to leave voluntarily, Trump fired him, leaving Strauss as his acting successor.

In December, the office of the Southern District’s chief judge issued a statement saying that while Strauss’ term of office as acting U.S. Attorney expired on Jan. 15, 2021, the court unanimously decided to retain her as the Manhattan-based federal prosecutor “until a United States Attorney, nominated by the president and appointed with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, takes office.”

A Justice Department official told Reuters Strauss would continue as the Manhattan-based prosecutor, but did not respond when asked whether the Biden administration at some point would move to replace her.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department asked most federal prosecutors appointed during Trump’s presidency to resign. Strauss is one of the few federal prosecutors who will remain on the job.

Others remaining include a Delaware-based prosecutor whose office is conducting a tax probe of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and John Durham, appointed by Barr as “special counsel” to investigate the origins of federal investigations of links between Trump, his entourage and Russia.

(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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