(FreedomBeacon.com)- G. Zachary Terwilliger is stepping down from his post at one of the most prominent U.S. Attorney’s offices to join the private sector.
At 39 years old, Terwilliger is the youngest U.S. Attorney in America. He has led the Eastern District of Virginia’s office since 2018. He started there as an intern back in 1999 and then served as a line prosecutor for years before taking over the office.
The Eastern District of Virginia is one of the most prominent in the country, since it handles Washington, D.C. Terwilliger’s office handled cases dealing with political operatives, spies and terrorists.
The office quite regularly handles the most high-profile of prosecutions in the U.S. In 2020, indictments that came out of the office included some against Islamic terrorists El Shafee Elsheikh an Alexanda Amon Kotey. These two British nationals were part of a group known as the “Beatles” because there were four members. The group allegedly held and then executed Western hostages.
Bringing these two people to trial in the U.S. took years of work both internationally and domestically. Other U.S. Attorney offices also competed to try to bring the case forward so they could get the credit. Terwilliger was especially proud of the job done in that case.
“To have those two individuals sitting in the Eastern District of Virginia — innocent until proven guilty — but to have them here on U.S. soil knowing everything that went into the charges being built, getting the evidence we needed from the U.K. and then the lengths to make sure they were safely in custody during a global pandemic … Logistically, that was probably one of the most difficult cases I’ve ever seen.”
The U.S. Attorney is leaving his position to join the law firm of Vinson and Elkins. It’s not uncommon for U.S. attorneys to resign during presidential transitions. This gives the person who is entering the White House the opportunity to appoint prosecutors of his own to top posts.
Terwilliger’s father, George, once served as a deputy attorney general and acting attorney general in a few Republican administrations. He is a Republican and says he expects that people will hold it against him that he was appointed by President Donald Trump.
He insisted that his independence in his role as U.S. attorney was never, ever compromised. Terwilliger said:
“I didn’t see things done out of politics. I can’t think of a single instance where someone turned around and said, ‘You will do this. This is your decision.'”
Before serving as U.S. Attorney, Terwilliger was chief of staff to Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. Rosenstein was the person who wrote the memo justifying the firing of James Comey, the former director of the FBI, for how he handled the investigation in 2016 into the private email server of Hillary Clinton.
In addition to high-profile espionage and terrorism, Terwilliger made it one of his priorities to focus on white-collar crimes and violent crimes in his jurisdiction. In a statement, Travis Christian, the police chief of nearby Petersburg, Virginia, praised Terwilliger for his commitment to that. He said:
“He helped put actual boots on the ground here in Petersburg. He traveled to the city, walked the streets and met with citizens, and ensured them that he was committed to providing the city with the necessary resources.”