US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Attorney

The Securities and Exchange Commission appears like it will need a new head

Jay Clayton, SEC Chairman
Jay Clayton, SEC Chairman

Jay Clayton, the current head of the SEC, has been nominated to be the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The Southern District of New York is one of ninety-three branches- or regional offices- which make up the US Attorney’s Office, the office which prosecutes federal cases.

In fact, Mary Joe White, a former head of the SEC, was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1993-2002 and then was named SEC Chair in 2013 and served through the end of Obama’s term.

Even so, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is the premiere office in the US Attorney’s Office; it also includes Wall and Broad, where the NYSE and New York’s business district are located.

As such, it is the most meaningful office for the trading industry.

Heads of the office go on to a large amount of success.

In 1962, Robert Morgenthau resigned as the head of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District for New York to rune for New York Governor.

He’d lose and then be reappointed to head US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York later on in 1962.

Rudy Giuliani headed the office from 1983-1989 before becoming mayor and future head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), James Comey headed the office from January 7, 2002 – December 15, 2003.

Clayton has been the only SEC chair under President Trump.

He takes over at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York at a tumultuous time.

The previous head, Geoffrey Berman, refused to resign and a spectacle ensued where William Barr, the Attorney General and Berman’s boss, released a letter in which Berman was then publicly fired.

“I wanted the opportunity to choose a distinguished New York lawyer, Jay Clayton, to nominate as United States Attorney and was hoping for your cooperation to facilitate a smooth transition. When the Department of Justice advised the public of the President’s intent to nominate your successor, I had understood that we were in ongoing discussions concerning the possibility of your remaining in the Department or Administration in one of the other senior positions we discussed, including Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division and Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“While we advised the public that you would leave the U.S. Attorney’s office in two weeks, I still hoped that your departure could be amicable. Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service. Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so. By operation of law, the Deputy United States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, will become the Acting United States Attorney, and I anticipate that she will serve in that capacity until a permanent successor is in place.”

Clayton’s nomination now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is currently headed by Lindsey Graham, a Republican from the State of South Carolina. Graham released a statement.

“According to Attorney General Barr, the Trump Administration intends to nominate Mr. Jay Clayton to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“I have not been contacted by the administration in this regard. However, I know Mr. Clayton and believe him to be a fine man and accomplished lawyer.

“As to processing U.S. Attorney nominations, it has always been the policy of the Judiciary Committee to receive blue slips from the home state senators before proceeding to the nomination.

“As chairman, I have honored that policy and will continue to do so.”