President Donald Trump on Friday announced that he would nominate Nicholas Trutanich, the chief of staff to Attorney General Adam Laxalt, to be U.S. attorney for Nevada.
Reached by phone, Trutanich had no comment and referred questions to the White House and the Department of Justice. An inquiry to the White House was not immediately returned. DOJ declined to comment.
Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican, who recommended Trutanich for the post, hailed the announcement.
“Nicholas Trutanich is highly-respected and he has exceptional qualifications that include serving as Nevada’s First Assistant Attorney General, leading investigations as the Gang Coordinator and Supervisor in the Violent and Organized Crime Section the Gang Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, and working on counterterrorism investigations in Baghdad,” said Heller in a release. “I was proud to recommend him to the President, and I am confident that he will serve the state of Nevada well as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, also praised the nomination and signaled her support.
“I worked with Nicholas Trutanich during my time as Nevada’s attorney general,” she said in a statement. “While we don’t share the same political views, he is a dedicated public servant who has served our state honorably. I believe he is well-qualified to serve as the next U.S. Attorney for Nevada and I support his nomination.”
As U.S. attorney for the state, Trutanich would oversee the investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases brought on behalf of the United States in the District of Nevada.
If confirmed by the Senate, he would replace Dayle Elieson, who is the state’s acting U.S. attorney. She was first appointed to the position in January by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Prior to joining Laxalt’s office, Trutanich served six years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California, including as a supervisor in the Violent and Organized Crime Section and as the Gang Coordinator in the Los Angeles office.
Trutanich also spent time in Iraq as the deputy justice attaché to assist with counterterrorism and rule of law matters.
He prosecuted a variety of federal offenses with an emphasis on violent crime and national security, according to the White House announcement.
Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, Trutanich practiced law with the national firm Kirkland & Ellis, LLP working on “complex commercial matters,” according to the attorney general’s office.
He subsequently had a stint as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real in the Central District of California. He received his B.S. from the University of California, Davis and graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Trutanich resides in Reno with his wife Katherine and three sons, Andrew, Joseph and Wyatt.
This story was updated at 1:48 to add a comment from Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and to reflect that the Department of Justice declined to comment.