San Diego

San Diego Gets New US Attorney in Surprise Appointment

The Justice Department used a little-known federal law to give Adam Braverman the job Thursday, pending his official nomination and confirmation by the Senate.

The Trump Administration appointed a new U.S. Attorney for San Diego Thursday, but Adam Braverman was given the job without being formally nominated or confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Braverman is a veteran prosecutor in the San Diego office. His appointment makes him the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Southern District of California, which includes both San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Braverman was most recently deputy chief of the district’s Criminal Enterprises Section, which prosecutes international and domestic drug trafficking, according to a Justice Department news release.

Braverman replaces acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson, who was appointed to the job in January on a temporary basis, for up to 300 days. Robinson’s fill-in appointment expired Thursday.

Braverman was given an interim appointment and took his oath of office Thursday, the Justice Department said.

A DOJ official told NBC 7 that federal law gives the Attorney General authority to appoint Braverman for 120 days, after which the District Court can renew that interim appointment indefinitely. The DOJ official said no Senate confirmation is necessary for Braverman to hold the office during that time.

Braverman is the Trump Administration’s choice for the job, and will be a candidate for formal nomination and confirmation by the Senate, the DOJ official said.

According to the official, Senator Dianne Feinstein formed a committee to interview candidates for the U.S. Attorney’s job and conducted those interviews this summer. Braverman was among those interviewed.

But the DOJ official said California’s other Senator, Kamala Harris, has not interviewed any of the candidates.

The official said Harris’s failure to move forward with the nominating process prevented the Trump Administration from formally nominating Braverman.

So the Justice Department used the little-known federal law to give Braverman the job Thursday, pending his official nomination and confirmation by the Senate.

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