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Machen's nomination for U.S. Attorney clears first hurdle

President Obama's nomination to be D.C.'s top federal prosecutor has cleared its first hurdle.

The office of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said Friday that the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of Ronald Machen for U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and has sent his nomination to the Senate floor.

Machen, 40, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, is a partner at the law firm WilmerHale, where he has specialized in internal investigations for corporations. He was an assistant U.S. attorney in the District from 1997 to 2001, handling crimes ranging from theft to mail fraud.

Over the years, he has donated $4,350 to Obama's campaigns. He gave $250 to Obama's U.S. Senate campaign in 2003, a year before Obama, then an Illinois state senator, emerged on the nation's political radar, according to campaign finance records.

The U.S. attorney job is one of the most coveted in federal law enforcement. As the District's top law enforcement official, the U.S. attorney oversees the largest federal prosecutors office in the country, with about 340 prosecutors who handle local and federal criminal cases.

The District does not have an elected local prosecutor.

Some of the nation's highest-profile crimes are handled by the District's federal prosecutors.

By Washington Post editors  |  February 1, 2010; 1:17 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , The District , Updates  
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