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The White House has tapped Latham & Watkins partner Alice Fisher to run the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Fisher, a prot�g� of Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff’s, will replace outgoing chief Christopher Wray. From 2001 until 2003, Fisher, 38, served as Chertoff’s deputy in the Criminal Division, overseeing major fraud and terrorism cases. However, unlike Chertoff and Wray, Fisher has never served as a federal prosecutor. Instead, Fisher has spent the bulk of her career as a white-collar defense lawyer at Latham. To many observers, the choice of a lawyer with no prosecutorial experience to run the Criminal Division is a surprising one. If confirmed, Fisher will have to overcome skepticism from federal prosecutors in the field. “The most important thing for line prosecutors is to have one of their own,” said one former Assistant U.S. Attorney before Fisher was formally identified as the administration’s pick. Fisher could not be reached for comment. A graduate of Catholic University Columbus School of Law, Fisher worked alongside Chertoff in the mid-1990s as a staff lawyer on the Senate Whitewater investigation. Before taking the helm of the Criminal Division, Fisher must be confirmed by the Senate. There is no word yet on when the Senate hearing will be held.

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