US Attorney John Durham taps Sarah Karwan to head Connecticut office’s criminal division

John Durham — the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut who has been tasked by Attorney General Bill Barr with “investigating the investigators” who allegedly led an illegal probe into candidate-turned-President Donald Trump and his campaign team in 2016 and 2017 — has announced a staffing change that may have some Democrats holding their breath.

The Washington Examiner reported Monday that Durham has appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Sarah Karwan to serve as chief of the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office’s criminal division.

New criminal division chief

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office released Monday, Karwan has a lengthy history of successfully prosecuting a variety of criminal offenses, including corruption and fraud related to public officials.

In addition, she has served the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s office since 2007, most recently as head of their Major Crimes Unit.

In that role, Karwan oversaw investigations and prosecutions related to “immigration, human trafficking and child exploitation, civil rights and hate crimes, government program fraud, and environmental crimes,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s office’s statement.

As chief of the Connecticut office’s criminal division, Karwan will oversee investigations and prosecutions pertaining to four major units: “Violent Crimes and Narcotics, Financial Fraud and Public Corruption, National Security and Cybercrime, and Major Crimes.”

A “standout” star

For his part, Durham has said he is “thrilled” Karwan will be taking the reins.

“During her more than 12 years as an AUSA, Sarah has done it all, prosecuting violent criminals, drug traffickers, financial fraudsters, corrupt public officials, and a wide variety of other wrongdoers,” he said. “Given the breadth of her experience and her exceptional lawyering skills, [Karwan] certainly will be a standout as our new criminal chief.”

Karwan succeeds William Nardini in her new position, according to the Examiner. Nardini was recently confirmed by the Senate to serve as a judge on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

He’s still on the case

While it is obvious that as chief of the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office’s criminal division, Karwan will be charged with overseeing the prosecutions of criminal acts in the state of Connecticut, it is unclear if she will also be providing assistance to Durham on his broader investigation into the origins of the Trump–Russian collusion probe launched by the FBI under the Obama administration.

Most likely, Karwan’s charge over matters in Connecticut will merely free up Durham to focus on the other probe, comfortable in the knowledge that the affairs of his state will be in capable hands.

Regardless, whether they have to worry only about Durham or a combination of powerful prosecutors, the alleged wrongdoers who have long been under the U.S. Attorney’s microscope should probably be concerned for their futures.

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