WASHINGTON (CNN) – The first six Obama administration nominees for U.S. Attorney posts were announced Friday to replace top federal prosecutors named by President Bush.
The nominations were disclosed on a day the controversy over the 2006 U.S. attorney firings re-surfaced. Only hours after Bush White House political advisor Karl Rove was questioned by a federal prosecutor about his knowledge of politically-influenced firings, the White House issued its first list of attorneys to replace Bush appointees.
Heading the list is Pareet Bharara, who served as chief counsel to Sen. Charles Schumer during the time the New York senator led the Democratic battle against the Bush administration for employing political considerations in hiring and firing at the Justice Department.
Bharara, if confirmed, would head the crucial U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, which prosecutes high-profile Wall Street crimes and major terrorists. The office, often referred to by Democrats and Republicans alike as the "Sovereign District of New York," has wide prosecutorial discretion and is noted for its legendary independence from the bosses at the Justice Department in Washington.
Other nominees announced Friday were Tristram Coffin for Vermont, John Paul Kacavas for New Hampshire, Paul Fishman for New Jersey, Joyce Vance for the Northern District of Alabama, and Jenny Durkan for the Western District of Washington.
Updated at 5:30 p.m. with additional information.