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Senate Confirms Chertoff as Homeland Security Secretary

New York, Feb 15, 2005

Former U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals Michael Chertoff was confirmed as head of the Department of Homeland Security by unanimous Senate vote on Tuesday, February 15, 2005. Chertoff succeeds Tom Ridge as secretary of the department, leaving behind a career as a federal appeals court judge for the task of protecting the nation's homeland.

Secretary Chertoff was previously confirmed by the Senate to serve in the Bush Administration as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice. As Assistant Attorney General, he helped trace the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the al-Qaida network, and worked to increase information sharing within the FBI and with state and local officials.

Before joining the Bush Administration, Chertoff was a Partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins. From 1994 to 1996, he served as Special Counsel for the U.S. Senate Whitewater Committee.

Prior to that, Chertoff spent more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, including service as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As United States Attorney, Chertoff investigated and prosecuted several significant cases of political corruption, organized crime, and corporate fraud.

The bipartisan support and confirmation of Chertoff as DHS Secretary completed Senate action on President Bush's reshaping of his second-term cabinet.

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