WASHINGTON — Veteran Baton Rouge prosecutor Brandon Fremin will be President Donald Trump's pick to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana.
Fremin, a former East Baton Rouge Parish assistant district attorney and federal prosecutor, is the head of the criminal division for Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
The White House announced the move Wednesday, saying the president intends to formally nominate Fremin to fill the Baton Rouge-based post.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Fremin will replace Walt Green, who resigned from the position in March. Green, a Democrat, had worked as a federal prosecutor in Baton Rouge since 1999. He was appointed U.S. attorney under former President Barack Obama's administration in 2013.
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Fremin, like Green, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, having served from 1994 to 2002. The 43-year-old prosecutor received his bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and his law degree from LSU.
Fremin called Wednesday morning's announcement "an extraordinary honor" but added he remains committed to his work for the state during the U.S. Senate confirmation process.
Green, who spent years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Baton Rouge before being tapped for the job by Obama, welcomed Wednesday's announcement.
"I think he's an excellent choice," said Green, who now works in private practice. "He's got extensive experience at the federal, state and local level and, with his military experience, his credentials are impeccable."
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Landry, who hired Fremin shortly after taking office in January 2016, agreed. "President Trump’s nomination of Brandon Fremin is a grand slam home run," he said. "Brandon has been a tremendous asset to our office, and I am confident that he will lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a fair, ethical and honest way."
Corey Amundson, who served as chief deputy in the office under Green, is the acting U.S. attorney in Baton Rouge. Amundson did not apply for the permanent position.
The Middle District oversees nine parishes and is based in Baton Rouge.
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy on Wednesday released a statement on Trump’s announcement, calling Fremin "an excellent choice to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana."
Hillar Moore III, the East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney, said Fremin's experience working as a prosecutor at multiple levels made him highly qualified for the position. Moore praised the pick and said Fremin would be well-placed to continue extensive cooperation between federal law enforcement and local officials aimed at cutting down on violent crime in the parish.
"We are pleased to get to work with him," Moore said. "I don't think there's going to be a whole lot of learning Brandon's going to have to do."
It wasn't immediately clear Wednesday when Trump would formally nominate Fremin.
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Appointments to serve as U.S. attorney require confirmation by the U.S. Senate, a process that can take considerable time. The U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committee will schedule a hearing for Fremin at some point before his candidacy goes before the full chamber for a vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on Tuesday about the growing backlog of nominees for the federal judiciary awaiting votes on Capitol Hill. McConnell alleged that Democrats in the chamber are abusing procedural maneuvers to slow down candidates and delay votes.
A number of candidates for federal judgeships in Louisiana are awaiting confirmation by the Senate.
Several other posts — including the vacant U.S. attorney positions in the New Orleans-based Eastern District and in the Shreveport- and Lafayette-based Western District — haven't yet received White House nominations.