March 03, 2021

Warner & Kaine Announce Recommendations for U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today sent a letter to the White House recommending candidates for the U.S. Attorney vacancies in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) and the Western District of Virginia (WDVA). In their letter, the Senators recommended Jessica Aber, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John Hall, civil litigator at Covington & Burling, for the EDVA position. The Senators recommended Christopher Kavanaugh, Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Virginia, and Erin B. Ashwell, Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia, for the WDVA position. 

“Panels of esteemed attorneys from across the Commonwealth interviewed Ms. Aber, Mr. Hall, Mr. Kavanaugh, and Ms. Ashwell, along with many other excellent candidates. After considering the panels’ reviews and conducting our own interviews, we find these four candidates to be exceptionally qualified for the position of U.S Attorney,” wrote the Senators to President Biden. 

The White House will now nominate one individual for each vacancy to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The nominations are subject to confirmation by the full Senate. 

A copy of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Mr. President: 

As you consider candidates to serve in the two U.S. Attorney positions in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we are pleased to recommend Jessica Aber and John Hall for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA); and, Christopher Kavanaugh and Erin B. Ashwell for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia (WDVA). Panels of esteemed attorneys from across the Commonwealth interviewed Ms. Aber, Mr. Hall, Mr. Kavanaugh, and Ms. Ashwell, along with many other excellent candidates. After considering the panels’ reviews and conducting our own interviews, we find these four candidates to be exceptionally qualified for the position of U.S Attorney.  

U.S. Attorney for Eastern District 

Jessica Aber is a distinguished attorney with more than a dozen years of criminal justice experience in the EDVA U.S. Attorney’s Office and as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division.  She has worked as both a line Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) handling complex financial fraud, violent crime and child exploitation cases and as EDVA’s Deputy Criminal Chief supervising operations across the District’s four divisions. Ms. Aber has lived in Virginia for over 20 years, receiving her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond and her Juris Doctor from the William & Mary Law School.       

John Hall is a highly esteemed civil litigator in private practice at Covington & Burling where he serves as chair of the firm’s global litigation practice. In addition to his civil trial practice, Mr. Hall, a former AUSA, represents individuals and companies in white-collar criminal defense and investigations. Many of his civil representations arise out of or involve parallel government enforcement proceedings. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and completed two years of post-graduate study in Economics at the University of Sydney (Australia). 

U.S. Attorney for Western District

Chris Kavanaugh is an AUSA in the Western District of Virginia. Mr. Kavanaugh is currently serving as Counsel to the United States Attorney, Senior Litigation Counsel, and as the WDVA’s chief national security prosecutor. Mr. Kavanaugh has practiced before every judge in the WDVA and has worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office since 2014, handling a wide variety of federal criminal offenses involving domestic terrorism, civil rights violations, national security and white-collar offenses and violent crimes. Mr. Kavanaugh received his Bachelors of Science from Georgia Tech and his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Erin B. Ashwell currently serves as the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia in Richmond, where she supervises legal strategy and operations of over 500 employees, including approximately 290 attorneys. Following law school, she joined the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. as a trial attorney for the tax-civil division. She has substantial ties to the Western District of Virginia and, prior to college, attended Virginia public schools. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Harvard University before going on to earn her Juris Doctor cum laude from Harvard Law School. 

We believe that any of these candidates would make an excellent U.S. Attorney, and we are honored to be able to recommend them to you.

Sincerely,

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