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Top official in Justice Department’s criminal division to depart

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Justice Department’s criminal division is leaving at the end of July after two years of overseeing work that ranged from corporate fraud prosecution to war crimes investigations.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite’s tenure has included work to combat human smuggling, prosecute white-collar crime and pursue accountability for Russian war crimes in Ukraine, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

“Under his leadership, the division has accelerated its efforts to keep the American people safe and tackle some of the most complex and urgent challenges our nation faces,” Garland said.

He did not name a reason for Polite’s departure, but the length of his tenure is similar to many of his predecessors. He is expected to join a law firm this summer after a short break, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Polite was confirmed to the role overseeing more than 600 federal prosecutors in 2021. He previously served a four-year stint as U.S. Attorney in New Orleans ending in 2017, and started his public-service career as a federal prosecutor in New York.

A Harvard University graduate, Polite has also been a Philadelphia-based law firm partner, a vice president at a large company in New Orleans and a white-collar defense attorney.


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