The White House has announced President Donald Trump’s U.S. attorney nominees for the Middle and Western federal districts of Pennsylvania, but has not yet revealed his pick for the Philadelphia-based Eastern District.
Trump has nominated corporate lawyer and former federal prosecutor Scott W. Brady for the Western District and Cumberland County District Attorney David J. Freed of the Middle District.
The Legal first reported days after Trump’s election in November that William McSwain, a criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, was being considered for the U.S. attorney slot in the Eastern District, but the White House has not yet made a formal announcement.
Brady is currently in charge of litigation for Federated Investors Inc. His prosecutorial experience dates back to his time in the Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney’s Office, where from 2004 to 2010 he handled white-collar, violent crime and drug trafficking cases. Prior to that he worked at Reed Smith and Jones Day, where his practice focused on multidistrict litigation, white-collar criminal matters and internal investigations.
Freed has served as Cumberland County’s top prosecutor for 12 years. He previously served for five years as first assistant district attorney in the office and handled the prosecution of homicides, violent felonies, arson and drug cases. Additionally, he was a prosecutor in York County.
Freed recently drew fire for not vetting an unpaid, volunteer clerk with ties to controversial alt-right leader Richard Spencer, Penn Live first reported. The now-former clerk, Evan McLaren, is currently executive director of Spencer’s National Policy Institute. Freed, who said he did not personally know McLaren, vowed to expand his office’s vetting process for clerks.
Freed did not return a call seeking comment for this article. Brady also did not respond.
Both Pennsylvania’s Democratic senator, Bob Casey, and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey approved of the nominees in a joint press release.
“U.S. attorneys play a vital role in keeping communities safe, upholding the rule of law and ensuring the fair administration of justice,” Casey said in the release. “These nominees are experienced and distinguished attorneys in their field who are well regarded by their colleagues. Mr. Brady and District Attorney Freed have prosecutorial experience and have served Pennsylvania and our nation with distinction.”
Toomey said in the release that he was “pleased that President Trump intends to nominate Scott Brady and David Freed to be U.S. Attorneys for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania.”
“Both Mr. Brady and District Attorney Freed are seasoned prosecutors who possess a wealth of legal experience from their work in the public and private sectors,” Toomey said. “I am confident that they will serve with honor and an unwavering respect for the rule of law. I look forward to the Senate confirming them swiftly.”
Freed, if nominated, would take the reigns of the Harrisburg-based federal prosecutor’s office known for targeting public corruption in the statehouse.
Brady, if nominated, would go on to replace acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song, who took over for David Hickton. Hickton, a Democrat, was the first U.S. attorney in the country to resign after Trump’s election.