3 Things to Know About Loretta Lynch, Our New Attorney General

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on April 24, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

More than 50 days after she was nominated, Loretta Lynch was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday and became the nation's first African American, female attorney general. That wait was longer than the past seven most recent AGs combined, according to CNN, a result of a fight between President Obama and Republicans over the president's executive actions on immigration.

Who is Lorreta Lynch and how did she come to replace outgoing attorney general Eric Holder? Here's three things to know about the country's new AG:

1. She's Not Afraid to Go After Cops or Politicians

Lynch has definitely developed a reputation as a bridge builder. Her skill at creating consensus and getting people to work well together has earned her widespread praise, from both politicians and law enforcement. But that doesn't mean those groups are beyond her reach. Lynch successfully prosecuted police officers who beat and sexually assaulted Abner Louima. She charged Station Island representative Michael Grimm with tax evasion and helped put away New York State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., for five years on embezzlement charges.

2. She Prosecuted the Goodfellas

Despite having fairly low profile, Lynch has gone after many high-profile cases. Lynch was responsible for charging alleged Mafioso Vincent Asaro and associates for murder, robbery, extortion and other crimes. Many of the charges related to events from the 1960s through 2013, including a dramatic $6 million cash and jewelry theft from a Lufthansa Airlines vault at JFK airport. That crime was made famous by Martin Scorsese, who used it as the basis for Goodfellas.

3. The Canterbury Tales Are Her Idea of a Good Time

Okay, so we were going to mention that Lynch was the only U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York to hold the position twice, first under Clinton then Obama. We were also going to mention that she was almost the first black valedictorian at her high school, until school administrators appointed a white counterpart, that she's a double-Harvard, and that she was sorority sisters with Eric Holder's wife.

But none of that matters, because she likes Chaucer. That's right -- Lynch isn't just a law nerd, she's a lit nerd as well. Her idea of a great time as an English major at Harvard was sitting down to some to some vernacular Middle English, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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