Republicans set to appoint 1st prosecutor in Boston in close to a decade

The John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse is seen during the closing statements phase of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev federal death penalty trial on Wednesday  May 13, 2015, in Boston. Tsarnaev is charged with conspiring with his brother to place two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line that killed three and injured 260 spectators in April 2013. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
The US attorney for Massachusetts’ main office is at the Seaport’s John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse (above). –Stephan Savoia / AP

With Massachusetts set to see its first Republican federal prosecutor in eight years, courthouse observers are wondering who that person will be — and how that person will be selected in a Donald Trump administration.

As US attorney, Trump’s pick will have vast powers to set the federal law enforcement agenda for the region.

The US attorney works with the heads of the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, among other agencies, to prosecute crimes ranging from sex trafficking to public corruption, and the US attorney would set law enforcement priorities from Boston to Springfield.

By tradition, a sitting president or president-elect relies on a state’s most senior elected official from his party to make recommendations.

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But Massachusetts’ top Republican elected official is Governor Charlie Baker, who refused to support Trump in the November election and did not vote for him. That makes it uncertain whether Trump would now rely on Baker’s advice in picking Massachusetts’ next top prosecutor.

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