United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is the chief federal law enforcement officer in eight New York state counties: New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan. Preet Bharara, who was appointed by Barack Obama in 2009 was the U.S. Attorney for the District until March 11, 2017, after being fired by President Donald Trump shortly after refusing to resign upon request. Bharara had taken over the post from Lev L. Dassin, who was acting as the interim U.S. Attorney after Michael J. Garcia, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005, stepped down in December 2008 to join the partnership of New York law firm Kirkland & Ellis. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has jurisdiction over all cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney.

The New York Times has called the office "one of New York City's most powerful clubs." Dozens of former assistant U.S. attorneys who worked there go on to prominent careers both in private practice and at the federal level.

Because of the office's resources, pursuit of high-profile cases, independence from presidential administrations and transitions, and tenacity, it is sometimes referred to as the "Sovereign District of New York"—sometimes along with its accompanying FBI field office.

Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg
Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg


The Office is organized into divisions handling civil and criminal matters. The Southern District of New York also has two offices: one in Manhattan, and one in White Plains. The Office employs approximately 220 Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

List of U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of New York

In 1814, the District of New York was divided into the Northern and the Southern District. The next year, the first U.S. Attorneys for the new districts were appointed.

Notable assistants

In popular culture

In the Billions (TV series), the US Attorney for Southern District of New York, Charles "Chuck" Rhoades Jr., is portrayed by Paul Giamatti.

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