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John G. Malcolm, a former federal prosecutor in Atlanta, will join the Justice Department as a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division. He is the third Atlanta attorney recruited by the Bush administration for the DOJ. A former name partner with Malcolm & Schroeder in Atlanta, Malcolm will work under Michael Chertoff, who heads the criminal division. Malcolm starts Aug. 20 as one of the division’s five deputy assistant attorneys general. Malcolm says he was offered the post last Thursday morning. “By Thursday afternoon, I was in Washington looking for schools for my kids.” Malcolm, 41, applied last January to be U.S. Attorney of Georgia’s Northern District. However, two other Georgia attorneys — Blue Ridge lawyer and former attorney general candidate David E. Ralston, and King & Spalding partner William S. Duffey Jr. — later were recommended to the White House for that post. ‘OUT OF THE BLUE’ Malcolm says the White House called him in early June about the deputy slot. “I just got a call out of blue from the White House personnel office,” he recalls. He was asked if he planned to be in Washington in the near future. The next day, he met with Chertoff and the chief of White House personnel. Two weeks ago, Malcolm returned to Washington for a follow-up interview with Attorney General John Ashcroft’s chief of staff. Malcolm will join two other Atlanta attorneys hired by the new administration: Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson, formerly of King & Spalding; and Robert D. McCallum Jr. of Alston & Bird, who is taking over the Justice Department’s civil division. Malcolm, a native New Yorker, was an honors graduate of Columbia College in Washington. He received his law degree at Harvard Law School in 1985 and then clerked for U.S. District Judge Charles A. Moye Jr. and former Senior Circuit Judge Albert J. Henderson, while Henderson sat on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Malcolm was an associate at Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan for two years before joining the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta in 1990. He worked for two U.S. Attorneys — Bush appointee Joe D. Whitley and Clinton appointee Kent Alexander — until 1997. Malcolm previously worked with Thompson when he was named independent counsel investigating allegations of corruption at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Malcolm worked under Thompson as an associate independent counsel and helped to prosecute former Interior Secretary James Watt for perjury and obstruction of justice. Watt was accused of lying to Congress and a grand jury in connection with the HUD case. He pleaded guilty to obstruction charges shortly before trial. Since 1997, Malcolm has been a partner with Atlanta attorney Robert F. Schroeder, another former Assistant U.S. Attorney who also worked for Thompson during the HUD investigation. While there, Malcolm handled primarily civil cases and white-collar criminal defense. Malcolm says he has not been briefed on his duties in the DOJ. He says he hopes eventually to return to Atlanta. ‘AN ENORMOUSLY TALENTED ATTORNEY’ Schroeder, who has been Malcolm’s partner for four years, calls him “an enormously talented attorney and a person of true honor and integrity. He is extremely bright. He has an analytical mind. He is very hardworking.” Says Schroeder, “When we both decided to leave government service, we wanted to work together.” His partner, he says, is also “very committed to public service.” Michael A. Sullivan, who also worked on the HUD investigation, calls Malcolm “unusually bright and conscientious.” “John is not a political hack,” says Sullivan, now with Finch & McCranie. “He’s politically connected. He’s a Republican, absolutely. And I’m his friend despite that. He’s conservative enough to satisfy this administration’s standards, but he’s more of a pragmatist like Larry Thompson. … It does give you some relief when you worry about the administration appointing far-right ideologues. … Larry and John are good people who have good judgment.”

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