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NEW YORK David Miller, a white collar defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, has emerged as a candidate to succeed Preet Bharara as the next Manhattan U.S. attorney, according to people familiar with the matter.

Miller, a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in New York, has in recent weeks spoken with officials in the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House as well as members of Congress about the job, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the private discussions.

The administration's interest in Miller for the prestigious post has not been previously reported. Edward McNally, a partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres, has been viewed as the leading candidate among at least four people said to have been under consideration, according to sources and media reports.

It is not clear who is now favored to get the position, which requires the President's nomination and is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Spokespeople for Morgan Lewis, Kasowitz and the Department of Justice declined to comment. The White House did not respond to questions about Miller as a candidate.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is considered one of the most important posts in the U.S. justice system. It entails overseeing more than 200 prosecutors handling high-profile cases ranging from terrorism to wrongdoing on Wall Street, cyber attacks and corruption.

In addition to Wall Street cases, whoever is chosen will inherit the office's investigation into a scandal at Fox News Channel over payments to settle sexual harassment claims and the prosecution of a Turkish gold trader in a politically charged case that has angered Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


Miller, 43, was an assistant U.S. attorney under Bharara from 2009 to 2014. During that time he was on a team of prosecutors involved in the office's crackdown on insider trading and was lead counsel in prosecutions of narcotics-related cases, as well as mail fraud and embezzlement schemes.

Bharara's former deputy Joon Kim is currently acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney. Bharara was fired in March after refusing to resign along with 45 other U.S. attorneys from the Obama administration. The dismissal was a surprise because Bharara was asked by Trump in November to stay on.

Bharara had built a strong reputation as Wall Street's top cop and for going after political corruption, regardless of party.

Both Miller's and McNally's law firms have ties to U.S. President Donald Trump. Sheri Dillon, a partner at Morgan Lewis, took part in Trump's January news conference on his plans to avoid conflicts of interest. Kasowitz has handled various cases for Trump for more than a decade and David Friedman, a former name partner at the firm, was confirmed in March as U.S. ambassador to Israel. Miller and McNally are both Republicans.