Attorney General William Barr on Thursday named former federal prosecutor Timothy Shea as interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Mr. Shea, currently one of Mr. Barr’s top Justice Department counselors, replaces Jessie K. Lieu, who leaves office Friday.
President Trump last month nominated Ms. Lieu to become the Department of Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes.
Mr. Shea previously served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia where he prosecuted drug trafficking, violent crime, and public corruptions cases. He also headed the task force responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes at the District of Columbia correctional facilities at Lorton.
From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Shea was chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations under the direction of Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican. In that position, he investigated public corruption, securities fraud and money laundering cases.
“Tim brings to this role extensive knowledge and expertise in law enforcement matters as well as an unwavering dedication to public service, reflected in his long and distinguished career in state and federal government,” Mr. Barr said in a statement. “His reputation as a fair prosecutor, skillful litigator, and excellent manager is second-to-none, and his commitment to fighting violent crime and the drug epidemic will greatly benefit the city of Washington.
Mr. Shea takes over the nation’s largest U.S. Attorney’s office with more than 300 federal prosecutors handling both violent crime within the city and federal offenses.
At times, the office has found itself embroiled in Washington’s political drama. District of Columbia prosecutors have pursued cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, longtime GOP operative Roger Stone and investigating former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who is accused of misleading investigators about a leak to the media.