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Trump taps Dakota Co. judge as next U.S. attorney for Minnesota

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Erica MacDonald
Erica MacDonald, a former assistant U.S. attorney for Minnesota, would replace Obama administration holdover Andrew Luger, who resigned last year. The White House announced her nomination on Tuesday.
Couretsy of Minnesota Judicial Branch

Updated 2:35 p.m. | Posted 11:06 a.m.

President Trump has nominated a Dakota County district judge who previously served as assistant United States attorney for the Minnesota district to be Minnesota's top federal prosecutor.

The White House nominated Erica MacDonald on Tuesday to be the next U.S. attorney for Minnesota, a position that has been vacant since March 2017, when Andrew Luger, an Obama administration holdover, was forced to step down after Trump took office.

MacDonald's appointment was part of the latest wave of nominations for U.S. attorneys and federal judges across the country.

In January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions named Gregory Brooker, who had been the first assistant U.S. attorney under Luger, to lead the office on an interim basis.

MacDonald was appointed a Dakota County judge in 2010 by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty. She was re-elected in 2012.

Before her appointment, she worked as assistant U.S. attorney for Minnesota from 2001 to 2009, prosecuting cases involving violent crimes, narcotics, firearms, human trafficking, and child pornography.

She co-chaired the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force from 2006 to 2009, according to her biography.

MacDonald's nomination to be the U.S. attorney for Minnesota is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Minnesota DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar applauded MacDonald's selection.

"I had a good meeting with her months ago and I told the Department of Justice and the Administration that she would be a good candidate for the job," Klobuchar said in a statement. "As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with her as her nomination moves forward."

Minnesota GOP U.S. Erik Paulsen lauded MacDonald as "a widely-respected jurist, an experienced federal prosecutor and a fine lawyer ... She's earned a reputation on the bench not just of fairness and impartiality, but of extensive knowledge of the law."