White House Nominates Channing Phillips for D.C. U.S. Attorney

Dana J. Boente named U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia

President Obama on Thursday nominated veteran Department of Justice lawyer Channing Phillips to be D.C.'s next U.S. attorney.

Meanwhile, Dana J. Boente, who had been serving as the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, removed the "acting" from his title as Obama appointed him fully to that post.

The two were among six new U.S. attorneys named on Thursday.

Phillips would oversee one of the largest U.S. attorney offices in the nation -- focusing on national and international crimes and major local prosecutions -- and take over the almost five-year investigation into former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and the $660,000 shadow campaign that helped elect him in 2010.

Gray denies involvement. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Vinnie Cohen and former U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen have overseen the Gray probe with a half-dozen guilty please.

The prosecutor's office declined to comment on Phillips but said the Gray investigation continues. 

Phillips, a native Washingtonian, held several management positions in the U.S. attorney's office from 1994-2010, then as senior counselor and deputy assistant associate general in the Office of the Attorney General.

Congress is expected to approve the nomination.

Cohen is expected to return to private practice later this year.

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