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D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office #2 Prosecutor Channing Phillips Off to the Justice Dept. to Help With Diversity Management

Channing Phillips/doj photo

Channing Phillips/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Channing Phillips, the number two person in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, is heading off to the Justice Department several blocks away to become Deputy Associate Attorney General for Diversity Management.

A Justice Department memo announcing the move said Phillips will be responsible for the implementation  of Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s Diversity Management Plan, which calls for greater diversity in such areas as hiring, promotions and retention at the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney’s Offices and agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF and Marshals.

Phillips will also serve as Executive Director for the Attorney General’s Diversity Management Advisory Council.

Phillips first joined the Justice Department in 1990 and was hired by then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder Jr. in 1994 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the D.C. office. He held a variety of posts over the year, including chief of staff,  but was best known to reporters as the affable and very able person who dealt with the media.

Last May, he was appointed interim U.S. Attorney and tossed his hat into the ring to be considered for the permanent post, which is a presidential appointment.  But he lost out to a private attorney and former federal prosecutor Ronald Machen, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February.  Phillips subsequently became the second in command of the office.

Many believed that Phillips was clearly capable of handling the U.S. Attorney job, but because he had been a career prosecutor, he wasn’t able to build up the political capital necessary to close the deal.


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