Top federal prosecutor stepping down

Don Cochran

U.S. Attorney Don Cochran, the top federal prosecutor in the Middle District of Tennessee, is stepping down at the end of the month, following a tradition of U.S. attorneys resigning upon election of a new president to make way for new appointments.

According to a press release from the Middle District, Cochran submitted his resignation last week, as requested by the White House and the Department of Justice.

The office will be overseen by First Assistant Mary Jane Stewart until a replacement is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Cochran was confirmed to the post in September 2017, following the election of President Donald Trump. He was previously a professor at Belmont College of Law.

Before moving to Nashville, Cochran was an assistant U.S. attorney in Birmingham, where he worked under future U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, whom Biden considered for attorney general before ultimately selecting Judge Merrick Garland. Cochran's wife is Cracker Barrel president and CEO Sandra Cochran.

“Serving the citizens of the Middle District as their U.S. Attorney for the last three and a half years has been the highest honor of my professional life,” Cochran said in the release. “I am confident that the team of exceptional lawyers and support staff that we have built and our law enforcement and community partnerships will continue to protect and defend the citizens of the district and live up to the high standards of the Department of Justice.”

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