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Trump picks John Lausch to be Chicago’s next U.S. Attorney

John Lausch | Kirkland & Ellis photo

President Donald Trump announced Thursday he has nominated John R. Lausch Jr. to serve as the next U.S. Attorney in Chicago.

The Chicago Sun-Times and other media reported in June that Lausch would likely be Trump’s pick.

The partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP worked as a federal prosecutor in Chicago for more than 11 years and served as a supervisor in the U.S. attorney’s office between 2005 and 2010. In that time, Lausch, 46, tried more than 20 criminal jury cases and led the prosecution of several corrupt cops about 10 years ago.

Lausch, who couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday, also once served as the violent crime coordinator in the U.S. attorney’s office and led the Anti-Gang and Project Safe Neighborhoods programs.

He has specialized at Kirkland in government enforcement defense and internal investigations. He represented BP in litigation related to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, and he has led confidential internal investigations for companies revolving around health care fraud, environmental crimes and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

If confirmed, Lausch would replace Zachary Fardon, who held the job for more than three years before U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked 46 U.S. attorneys appointed under former President Barack Obama’s administration to resign. Fardon was one of them.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago has now been led for more than four months by acting U.S. Attorney Joel Levin.

In an emailed statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “I want to congratulate John Lausch on his appointment as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. John brings a strong public safety background to the office, and it is my hope that he will use the power of that office to increase the federal prosecution of gun crimes in Chicago and strengthen public safety in our communities.”

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth said in a joint statement: “We are pleased that the President has nominated Mr. Lausch. The nonpartisan screening committee we established to evaluate potential candidates came to the same conclusion and recommended him as well. Mr. Lausch has served the people of the Northern District and the cause of justice for years, and we expect him to be a diligent, thoughtful, and principled U.S. Attorney. We look forward to seeing his nomination through the Senate.”