Paul J. McNulty

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Paul J. McNulty announced his intention on May 14, 2007, to depart later this summer from the U.S. Department of Justice as Deputy Attorney General. [1]

In his letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, McNulty cited "the financial pressures of having children entering their college years one official said." However, McNulty is "the latest senior Justice official to announce his departure amid the swirl of controversy over the firings last year of nine U.S. attorneys." [2]

McNulty, of Alexandria, Virginia, was nominated November 9, 2005, by President George W. Bush to be Deputy Attorney General, vice James B. Comey, who resigned in August 2005. McNulty will remain at his current job as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and "serve as acting deputy attorney general while awaiting Senate confirmation." [3]

McNulty was named October 21, 2005, following the withdrawal of Timothy E. Flanigan on October 7, 2005, "who had faced weeks of questions about his law enforcement credentials and his corporate ties as a senior lawyer" at Tyco International Ltd. [4][5]

"McNulty has overseen the busy U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria for four years and has deep ties in Washington's GOP circles. He was chief counsel and spokesman for House Judiciary Committee Republicans during impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton, headed the Bush transition team at the Justice Department and prepared former attorney general John D. Ashcroft for his bruising Senate confirmation hearings in 2001," Dan Eggen and Jerry Markon wrote in the October 22, 2005, Washington Post.

"Since becoming U.S. attorney, McNulty has overseen the prosecutions of convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; John Walker Lindh, an American who helped the Taliban in Afghanistan; and a group of Muslim men convicted of training overseas for holy war against the United States.

"Some defense lawyers have been critical of McNulty, for his aggressive approach in terrorism and other areas and because he has never personally prosecuted a case. But associates say he is deeply involved in the details of all major cases brought by his office, and he is well-liked by many defense lawyers and prosecutors," Eggen and Markon wrote.


According to his Department of Justice biography, last updated June 8, 2005, Paul J. McNulty was confirmed as the 56th United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia on September 14, 2001.

"Mr. McNulty has spent nearly his entire career in public service, with more than 23 years of experience in federal and state government. Before becoming U.S. Attorney, he directed President Bush's transition team for the Department of Justice and then served as Principal Associate Attorney General. From 1990 to 1993, Mr. McNulty was the Justice Department's director of policy and its chief spokesman.

"Mr. McNulty has over 12 years experience in the United States Congress. He was Chief Counsel and Director of Legislative Operations for the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was also Chief Counsel to the House Subcommittee on Crime where he served for eight years. During those years he was a principal draftsman of many anti-terrorism, drug control, firearms and anti-fraud statutes.

"Mr. McNulty has played a significant role in shaping criminal justice policy in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was a primary architect of the 'Parole Abolition and Sentencing Reform' initiative in 1994, and he served on the board of the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Advisory Committee of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

"He currently serves as Chairman of Attorney General Gonzales' Advisory Committee and as Chairman of the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

"Under Mr. McNulty's watch, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia has grown by more than 20%, and he has made the prosecution of terrorism, gun and gang violence, drug trafficking, cybercrime, and corporate fraud his top priorities."

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