Biden Administration names Kentucky man to head Alaska office of Dept. of Justice

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has named John Kuhn as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska, effective Dec. 26, 2021.

Kuhn recently served with the Executive Office for United States Attorneys since 2018 in various roles, including National Heroin and Opioid Coordinator, National Controlled Substances Coordinator, and Acting Assistant Director in the Office of Legal Programs. 

He had served as United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky for nearly three years, from December 2014 to September 2017. During his tenure, Kuhn was engaged in combatting the opioid crisis, developing a number of effective initiatives and programs. Before he became U.S. Attorney, Kuhn served for more than four years as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, supervising the Criminal, Civil, Appellate, and Administrative Divisions of the Office.

The Trump Administration replaced Kuhn as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky in 2017. The positions are politically appointed and usually change with each president.

Kuhn has more than 31 years of legal experience and 24 years with the Department of Justice. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the Western District of Kentucky U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted narcotics, violent crime, and white-collar offenses. In addition to his extensive trial work, Kuhn argued appeals before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and served as a hearing officer in Washington, D.C. and New York City for the Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund, a federal program established for victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Kuhn graduated cum laude from the University of Louisville School of Law and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky.

Kuhn was quoted as saying, “I’m honored to serve as the United States Attorney in the great state of Alaska. The dedicated prosecutors and staff in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska are some of the best in the nation, and together we will continue to fulfill our mission, protecting the people of Alaska and the interests of the United States.” 

He replaces former Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson, who served in that role since March 1, 2021, when Biden accepted the resignation of former U.S. District of Alaska Attorney Bryan Douglas Schroder in the early weeks of Biden’s Administration. Wilson has returned to his role as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney, where he has served since November 2017.  

40 COMMENTS

  1. Do anyone acturally read that impressive library collection of beautiful bound books behind the man or is the case for pomp and show. Hahaha most imporantly is he reading them. Scary thought when our leaders don’t even know the laws predecessors passed

    • It’s online now. They have a site that tells them all that because the law changed so frequently. But before that, it wasn’t uncommon to look up case law the old way

    • Those books are expensive leather-bound “case reporters” in which court decisions are published for those who do legal research. There probably isn’t one there that is less than 15 or 20 years old. Everyone uses WestLaw or some similar online research system and the books are on the wall of law offices for decoration.

      I’ll confess to having been guilty of it. We had walls of shelves with published arbitration and labor board decisions as well as the treatises and hornbooks. I learned the finer parts of my trade by digging authority out of those books, but I gave in to the times in the late ’90 and went to online search engines. Plus, it was getting hard to hire anyone who understood the concept of reading and researching in books. But, I couldn’t give up the books, so I kept them on their shelves in the office taking up space because I liked them. I still do a little actual work and the top couple of shelves on one of the bookcases in my den/home office is filled with dead tree reference books and, yes, some of those leather-bound hornbooks. I’m just not comfortable without a nice copy of “Black’s Law” handy.

  2. Likely no friend of Rand Paul. Hired to watch over anti-Murkowski and anti-BLM demonstrators. Let’s go, Brandon buddy.

      • To the extent you can provide examples of how the current President is “helping” Alaska, please be my guest.

        • He’s not harming it anymore than our very own politicians. I’m sure you think he’s doing a lot of harm, but see if you can pin the economic disaster that Alaska has been digging out of the last 7 years. And let me know when Biden was ever part of the Alaska Republican party that presided over Alaska’s financial collapse. Thanks in advance.

          • I am unsure what you consider to be “Alaska’s financial collapse.” The value of Permanent Fund assets exceeds $80 billion, of which, as I read it, $12 billion is available for appropriation. There is plenty of money. I would agree that State leaders struggle to agree on how to spend and save our considerable wealth. I would also agree that the Alaska economy has weakened, IMO largely due to a lack of private sector economic activity. Where we might disagree is how imposing a State income tax would solve that problem. And, to get back to where we started, the Biden regime is doing everything it can to kill off the oil industry. I will let you argue that tourism and solar panels are going to make everything happy again. Have a nice day.

      • John Seymour, when everyone in the Xiden administration is out to get you, you better be a little paranoid… if you are not, then you are not paying attention!

        Ha, Ha!

        • The Xiden administration? Is that like intended to ignore the fact that Trump was buddy buddy with Xi? Or did you honestly just find out reading my comment?

  3. Standing in front of a lot of books. Hope he is a rare fed and actually follows the law. Hope he fears the people. That’s not too much to hope for.

  4. My guess is he has never even been to Alaska. But then, why would a man in his new position need to be familiar with the state he’s appointed to?

    • His bio says he practiced law here in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but I don’t know any details.

    • You “guess”. That is the structural flaw in conservative thinking. You guess when critical thinking would serve much better.

      • Me thinks that if the author did not “guess” his comment would be dismissed as uninformed. The comment indirectly raises a legitimate issue. If the appointee had been to Alaska, the press release of his appointment would probably mention it. Your attack on the author indicates that the ultimate answer to the factual question may be uncomfortable.

      • That’s a joke right? 40 years of data saying masks don’t work and lockdowns do more harm than good, and progressives tossed that out due to hysterical fear and the power that can be gained by fear mongering, and yet conservatives are the ones that ignore the facts? Suppose you questioned the Russian Hoax your crew pushed as well? You were the lone voice of dissent? Right….

        Get real. Your cult feeds on emotion, and runs from facts and data like cockroaches when the lights come on.

        Have a look at the border, Afghanistan, the economy? Inflation, etc etc. we could go on and on. There’s literally nothing you “facts based” progressives haven’t ruined, primarily because you act on virtue signaling and an incessant need to feel superior to your neighbors, instead of, the data and the facts at hand. You are the farthest thing from rational that their is, and really it’s worse than that because you capitalize on the fear you foment to gain power over others. It’s quite sick, actually.

      • Nice generalization about conservative thinking. Meanwhile, everyone knows liberals do no critical thinking as they are guided (and often misguided) by emotions.

  5. When Nelson Cohen was appointed U.S. Attorney for Alaska, it went against established precedent of appointing locals. It quickly became apparent why he was there, a DOJ troubleshooter installed to oversee the prosecutions of Alaskan elected officials. I haven’t paid much attention to the position in the years since. Have they done away with the tradition of appointing locals or is this guy here for a similarly big thing?

    • Except he didn’t do it; his only formal role was loaning two of his USA staff attorneys to the USDOJ’s Public Integrity Section, who narrowly escaped jail for the way they conducted the prosecutions. At least one of them had the decency to commit suicide.

      The appoint a local only applies when the President is from the same party as the state’s senators except in very rare, and often corrupt, circumstances.

  6. Well, we might take some comfort in considering that somebody who went to school and practiced law in Kentucky is probably more conservative than a Democrat from or living in Alaska who went to school at Berserkley, Williamette, USC, UCLA, or God forbid, Hahvud or Yale and came to or back to Alaska as a VISTA volunteer or some such.

    • Thank you Art. That’s exactly what was going through my mind. The ‘local” choices aren’t all exactly stellar.

      • Dave, don’t you ever question the fact that Art here worked all his life for the government, happily accepted the cushy benefits, and then retired, only to begin pushing to remove those very benefits he happily still enjoys, but wishes to take away from those who come after?

        Hypocrisy is one of those things that shouldn’t be excused out of loyalty.

        • Well, actually, I spent much less than half of my actively working life working for the State. Most of my time was in the private sector/self-employed, with a short stint with the federal government.

          In my time with the State, I always had the comfort of knowing that when I met with my union adversaries, I was the lowest paid person in the room. I paid for my benefits either directly or through reduced wages. You can provide a list of benefits I’ve tried to take from others. You’ll work on that awhile and then we’ll never hear from you again.

          Two things that nobody who has ever had to deal directly with me, including some who really, really don’t like me, would never call me are a liar or a hypocrite.

    • Yes, Art, educated people in general are a real problem for those who got cushy government jobs and retired tier 1 without having to do much heavy lifting…

      • How many billion dollar agreements have your name on the signature line? Go look at all the published arbitration decisions and labor board decisions with my name on the appearance line and get back to me about “heavy lifting.”

  7. “…we will continue to fulfill our mission, protecting the people of Alaska and the interests of the United States.”

    These 2 missions certainly appear to be mutually exclusive as of late. Reconcile!?!

  8. Question(s) I have is , does he know how to prosecute on 18 usc 242 Deprivation of rights under color of law ? Will he go after a whole lot of elected Alaska public officials?

  9. Hopefully, he isn’t on the George Soros payroll like the ones across the nation allowing criminals to go free so they can victimize more Americans.

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