Senators nominate longtime prosecutor to be next US attorney

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha. – handout

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s two U.S. senators have recommended to President Joe Biden that Zachary Cunha be named the next U.S. attorney for the state.

Cunha is currently chief of the civil division for the office.

“Zachary Cunha is an experienced prosecutor with an exemplary record of service in the U.S. Attorney’s office,” Democratic Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse said in a statement Tuesday. “He is an outstanding candidate to take on this new role and has solid relationships with the law enforcement, legal, and local communities. He has a record of holding the powerful accountable and recognizing the power and responsibility of the U.S. Attorney’s office.”

The U.S. attorney is the top federal law enforcement official in the state. It is customary for the president to ask senators for recommendations for U.S. Attorney appointments. Candidates must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Cunha has been a federal prosecutor since 2005 and joined the Rhode Island office in 2014. He has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a law degree from George Washington University.

Former U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman, appointed by former President Donald Trump, resigned in February. Richard Myrus is currently the acting U.S. attorney.