Loretta Lynch Confirmed As U.S. Attorney General. Becomes First African American Woman Nominated To The Post.
(Loretta Lynch appears before Senate Judiciary Committee in January. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
After a staggering 167-day delay, Loretta Lynch has been officially nominated U.S. Attorney General, making her the first African American woman to hold the post. Lynch is also the second African American to serve as U.S. Attorney General, the first was Eric Holder.
The majority Republican Senate was heavily criticized for the record-long delay that took place since President Obama nominated Lynch back in November of 2014. Many attributed the delay to political posturing, but Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley maintained that the lengthy deliberation was partially due to the time and effort needed to gather more information on the $1.9 billion money-laundering deal with HSBC that Lynch had settled while she served as U.S. Attorney in New York. The settlement allowed the company to pay hefty fines and avoid any criminal prosecution.
On Thursday, a cloture, a motion used to bring a debate to a swift resolution, was invoked on her nomination in a vote of 66 to 34. Later that day, her appointment as U.S. Attorney General was confirmed with a vote of 56 to 43.
“Loretta Lynch is a gifted attorney, a consummate professional, and a dedicated public servant,” Eric Holder said in a statement released shortly after the nomination and reported by the AP.
“At every stage of her career, Loretta has earned the trust and high regard of allies and adversaries alike,both in Washington and throughout the country,” said Holder. “In every case and every circumstance she has demonstrated an unfailing commitment to the rule of law and a steadfast fidelity to the pursuit of justice.”
Lynch, a native of North Carolina, began her current tenure as U.S. Attorney in New York in 2010, she also held the position from 1999 to 2001.