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Who is Richard Donoghue? All about the new deputy attorney general as William Barr resigns

President Donald Trump tweeted, 'Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General'
Richard Donoghue (Getty Images)
Richard Donoghue (Getty Images)

It was a busy Monday in the US. Attorney General William Barr declared that he would resign next week. President Donald Trump announced on Twitter, “Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job! As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family...” He also said, “...Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General. Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General. Thank you to all!”


Even though there was tension brewing between Barr and Trump, the departure was presented as amicable. A White House official said Barr was not forced out or fired. "He wasn't asked to resign," the official said, insisting there was no tension during the meeting between Trump and Barr on Monday, December 14, afternoon. "It was a very amicable meeting," the official said. Another person familiar with the matter described the meeting as "cordial". Trump announced that Rosen will be the Acting Attorney General and Donoghue will be Deputy AG once Barr steps down. Here's all you need to know about Richard Donoghue.

Who is Richard Donoghue?

(Getty Images)

In July, this year, Donoghue was appointed as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. According to Politico, the role is a vital one, and typically involves working with almost 93 US attorneys working around the country. As per the report, he worked in the Eastern District of New York as an assistant US attorney for more than a decade. This included a stint as chief of the office’s criminal division. As US attorney, he was part of the leadership committee of the department’s China Initiative and oversaw the prosecution of Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant. The Eastern District of New York also secured convictions of Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere and infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán during Donoghue’s tenure there.

As per the Department of Justice, he was a recipient of the New York City Bar Association’s Henry L. Stimson Medal in 2007 and the Eastern District Association’s 2009 Charles E. Rose Award.  He has also served on active duty in the US Army JAG Corps, where he held positions including Military Magistrate Judge, Prosecutor, Defense Counsel, and Contract Litigator. Donoghue also worked as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He received his BA, cum laude, from Hofstra University and his JD from St. John’s University School of Law.

It's official: Biden won

Another big development was the Electoral College formally selected Joe Biden as the next president on Monday, December 14, giving him an electoral majority of 306 votes and confirming his victory in last month’s election, according to AP. This year, the state-by-state voting was even more important because Trump has still not conceded and has been pushing for legal measures to prove alleged ‘voter fraud’. As per the AP report, the results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a January 6 joint session of Congress over which vice president Mike Pence will preside.