Washington — Attorney General William Barr has elevated a former top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn to help oversee day-to-day operations at the Justice Department as the No. 2 official in the deputy attorney general’s office, senior department officials said Monday.
Seth DuCharme, currently a counselor to Barr, is the former chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York. He worked closely on some of the most high profile federal cases of the last decade, including investigations into Huawei, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the 1MDB money laundering scandal and numerous terrorism cases.
He will be taking over as principal associate deputy attorney general, a position similar to his role in the U.S. attorney’s office, which he held until earlier this year.
Barr praised DuCharme for his “superb judgment and steady hand,” calling him “one of the most seasoned and collegial attorneys” at the department. Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen said he is a “dedicated public servant and long-time career prosecutor of the highest caliber.”
“Seth’s sharp intellect, quick thinking, and excellent judgment have greatly benefitted all who have worked with him,” Rosen said in a statement. “His deep experience in areas ranging from narcotics trafficking and cybercrime to terrorism and public corruption will be an asset to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.”
In Brooklyn, DuCharme was credited for revolutionizing law enforcement’s approach to combating radicalization among young people. He advocated for early intervention and counseling services for adolescents who expressed interest online in terrorist groups like ISIS but did not warrant immediate prosecution.
In October, Barr announced the department-wide implementation of an initiative spearheaded by DuCharme known as the Disruption and Early Engagement Program (DEEP), aimed at disrupting the uptick in mass shootings across the U.S.
DuCharme will replace Ed O’Callaghan, who announced his departure last week. In a statement Monday, Barr called O’Callaghan one of the “most highly regarded lawyers at the Department of Justice” and praised his “sharp intellect, common sense and sound judgment.”
O’Callaghan was former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s second-in-command over the course of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His last day will be Friday, December 20, with DuCharme taking the reins December 23.