- The Washington Times - Friday, November 16, 2001

U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who successfully prosecuted some of the country's top terrorism cases, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, announced yesterday she would resign her post at the end of the year.

Mrs. White, who leads the prosecutor's office for the Southern District of New York, had planned to leave office after the May convictions of four followers of Osama bin Laden in the 1993 bombings, but delayed her departure following the September 11 attacks.

In a statement, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Mrs. White's dedication to justice was "unquestionable" and that her term as U.S. attorney had been one of "steadfast commitment to law enforcement."

"When our nation was attacked on September 11, she immediately went into action to defend New York and pursued those responsible for the evil acts of terrorism," he said. "We wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

In announcing her departure, Mrs. White, 53, thanked President Bush for what she described as "his leadership and commitment to protecting our country at home and abroad in this time of crisis."

She was named U.S. attorney in 1993 and immediately took over the World Trade Center bombing investigation. She later obtained 21 indictments in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 persons, including 12 Americans.

Mrs. White, a Virginia native, also oversaw the criminal investigation of President Clinton's last-day-in-office pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, the ex-husband of a Democratic fund-raiser, as well as Mr. Clinton's commutations of the sentences of four swindlers from a Hasidic community that overwhelmingly backed first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2000 senatorial bid.

Mrs. White was the first female U.S. attorney for the southern district, which has 200 assistant U.S. attorneys and covers Manhattan, the Bronx and New York City suburbs. Justice Department officials had no immediate comment on her replacement.


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