Schumer Recommends Historic Trio Of Nominees To Lead New York U.S. Attorney Offices For The Southern, Eastern & Western Districts; Each Highly Qualified & Experienced Attorney Would Bring An Abiding Commitment To Equal Justice Under The Law To Respective Office & The DOJ

Schumer Recommends Damian Williams To Head Southern District Office, First African American Recommended To Hold That Position Breon Peace For Eastern District Office & Trini Ross For Western District Office Schumer: Each Of These Nominees Demonstrates Sterling Legal Credentials, Vital Experience, A Commitment To Equal Justice Under The Law, Civil Rights & So Much More

March 23, 2021

Washington, D.C.   U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced, today, that he will recommend three exceptional attorneys to serve as the United States Attorneys in the Southern, Eastern and Western District offices. Schumer will forward the names of Damian Williams for the Southern District, Breon Peace for the Eastern District and Trini Ross for the Western District to the administration of President Joe Biden and the Department of Justice (DOJ). It is the first time ever that three African American leaders would fill these critical positions in the DOJ.

“All three of these superb and accomplished attorneys have dedicated their careers to equal justice under the law and will bring a passion for the rule of law, civil rights and justice to their respective posts, as well as profound integrity and expertise to their offices,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

“I am confident all three of these legal leaders will pursue the facts and justice without fear or favor and will greatly help rebuild public confidence in an unbiased and professional Department of Justice. I am particularly proud to recommend the first African American to lead what many consider the most consequential prosecutorial office in America, the Southern District,” Schumer added.      

“In recommending each of these experienced and talented leaders for such important positions, I am confident that the lives of all New Yorkers will be made better and that these prosecutors will work hard to confront wrongdoing in all its forms in a fair and focused manner. Each of these exemplary public servants embodies the phrase ‘equal justice for all’ and holds a deep understanding that the work ahead will require solid, steady and unwavering leadership to ensure this state—and this country—deliver a fairer, more inclusive and just future for each and every one of us,” Schumer said.  

The bio for the Senator’s three recommendations appears below:

Damian Williams

“Damian Williams has tremendous legal acumen, is deeply experienced in the Southern District, has tried significant cases and has a strong commitment to equal justice and civil rights under the law. He is ready to take the helm to steer the Southern District forward into a bright future,” said Schumer.

Damian Williams, 40, currently serves as Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, where he has worked since 2012. Within this role, Mr. Williams supervises a team of more than 20 senior prosecutors, manages SDNY relationships with senior leadership at law enforcement agencies, and represents SDNY at public events to discuss SDNY’s white collar enforcement priorities.

Williams was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in SDNY from (2012-2018). He tried 13 cases to verdict and worked on various notable cases, including United States v. Sheldon Silver (prosecuted former Speaker Silver for bribery, extortion, and money laundering) and United States v. Christopher Collins (prosecuted former Congressman Collins for insider trading).

Williams previously clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C Circuit Judge Merrick Garland (2007-2008) and United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (2008-2009). Williams also previously served as a Litigation Associate for Paul Weiss LLP (2009-2012).

Williams obtained his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 2007 and is a member of N.Y. Bar.

Trini Ross

“Trini Ross is a true Western New Yorker, born and raised in Buffalo, who has deep roots in the community and broad support. Ms. Ross served in an exemplary way for a number of years in the Western New York United States Attorney office, as well as at top positions at Department of Justice headquarters in DC. Everything in her career has prepared and guided her to assume this leadership role and I look forward to seeing her take the helm,” said Schumer.

Trini Ross has been recommended to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York. Ross, who would be the first African-American woman to hold the position, currently serves in the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General as Director of the Office of Investigations, Legal Division. In this role, which she has held since 2018, she manages attorney-investigators, directs oversight of investigations, and oversees outreach.

Prior to joining NSF, Ross spent more than 20 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the criminal division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York. In her role as a senior manager and federal trial attorney, Ross investigated and prosecuted numerous cases and indictments before federal grand juries and trial juries in federal district courts. From 2007 to 2009, Ross worked as Assistant Counsel of the Office of Professional Responsibility within the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. where she investigated allegations of misconduct by DOJ attorneys. 

Ross obtained B.A., Sociology from the State University of New York College at Fredonia (1988) and an M.A., Criminal Justice from Rutgers University (1990) before obtaining her Juris Doctor from The State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Law in 1992.

Breon Peace

“Despite his considerable legal success as an accomplished attorney and as a partner at one of the nation’s top law firms, like me, Breon Peace is a Brooklyn boy at heart; he is the son of a pastor and proud product of Crown Heights and Clara Barton HS, who never forgot where he came from. And those principles of rootedness in community and treating all people with dignity and respect have been the twin pillars of his career. I know he will bring that intellect, management and passion, and compassion to the leadership of the amazing United States Attorney Office of the Eastern District of New York,” said Schumer.

Breon Peace has been recommended to serve as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Peace is currently a Partner at Cleary Gottlieb, LLP where he is a member of the firm’s executive committee with significant management experience. Since joining the firm in 2007, he has represented a wide range of clients in regulatory and criminal investigations and frequently handles matters involving the Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, various state attorneys general, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Peace previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of EDNY. In this role, he served as lead trial counsel in the prosecution of federal criminal cases, including those involving fraud, organized crime, money laundering, and international narcotics trafficking.

Peace previously clerked for Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for The Eastern District of New York.

Peace obtained a B.A., Political Economy of Industrial Societies from the University of California, Berkeley (1993) and before receiving his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law (1996) where he served as Associate Editor of the New York University Law Review. Peace grew up in Brooklyn, the son of pastor Dr. Marquette Peace of Zion Baptist Church, and went to Clara Barton High School in Crown Heights.