ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – A high-profile federal prosecutor who has handled major cases including the criminal charges against NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he is stepping down next month.
Neil MacBride, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said Thursday his resignation is effective Sept. 13. He was appointed in 2009.
Under MacBride, the Alexandria-based office pursued terrorism, corruption, human trafficking and white-collar prosecutions, and increased its emphasis on cases with international connections, including drug trafficking, arms dealing, and piracy.
The office is also conducting an ongoing investigation of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, and has filed criminal charges against NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who has received asylum in Russia.
Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement Thursday praising MacBride as “an exceptional leader, a committed public servant, and a brilliant attorney _ handling complicated cases with extraordinary skill.”
MacBride’s office obtained a bribery conviction of former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., and brought a major copyright piracy case against Kim Dotcom, founder of the Megaupload file-sharing site.
Recently, MacBride had been under consideration for appointment as FBI director. He once served as chief counsel for then-Sen. Joe Biden.
MacBride says he has not decided what he’ll do next.
The office said an acting U.S. attorney will be appointed until a replacement is confirmed by the Senate.
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