SAN FRANCISCO — President Donald Trump plans to nominate a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at a major corporate law firm to the position of U.S. attorney in Northern California, the White House announced on Thursday.
David Anderson is a Stanford Law School graduate who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy from 1991 to 1992. He went on to serve as First Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, and is now a partner at Sidley Austin. He has represented AT&T and Wells Fargo among other corporate clients.
"I am honored and grateful to have received this recognition," Anderson said in a statement provided by Sidley Austin. "If officially nominated and confirmed, I would love to re-enter government service and lead the team of professionals in the U.S. Attorney's office."
U.S. attorneys serve as the chief federal prosecutors in their regions. Anderson's territory would include the San Francisco Bay Area.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new policy in January allowing U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively to prosecute marijuana cases in states where it's legal, though he has since said federal prosecutors won't take on small-time pot cases.
Recreational marijuana became legal in California in 2018, but the drug remains illegal under federal law. A former U.S. attorney in San Francisco, Melinda Haag, faced criticism after she cracked down on medical marijuana dispensaries in the region.
The current U.S. Attorney for Northern California, Alex Tse, said in a statement he has known Anderson for three decades and was confident he would make an "outstanding" U.S. attorney. Anderson would have to be confirmed to the position by the U.S. Senate.
"I look forward to a smooth transition to his leadership," Tse said.
Tse became acting U.S. attorney when his predecessor, Brian Stretch, stepped down in January. It's fairly customary for U.S. attorneys to leave their posts once a new president is in office.