Assistant United States Attorney - National Security Section

Washington, D.C
Sep 24, 2020
Sep 25, 2020
Full Time


The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is unique in the size and the scope of its work. It serves as both the local and the federal prosecutor for the nation's capital. On the federal side, cases prosecuted by AUSAs assigned to the Criminal Division include, but are not limited to, drug trafficking; violent crime and firearm possession; cybercrimes; fraud and public corruption; and national security,
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The National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is seeking one or more experienced prosecutors to serve as a senior Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA), with the experience necessary to lead complex and challenging national security investigations and serve as first-chair in trials arising from those investigations.

The mission of the Section is to investigate and prosecute criminal activity that threatens our nation's security. The types of matters that the Section handles include: (1) international terrorism, (2) domestic terrorism, (3) espionage, (4) export control and sanctions violations, (5) malign foreign influence, (6) economic espionage, (7) unauthorized disclosure of classified national defense information and (8) cyber offenses targeted at the U.S. government and/or perpetrated by those connected to state actors or terrorist organizations. The Section's Threat Finance Unit works closely with law enforcement, the intelligence community, and various regulators to use all tools - including criminal prosecutions, criminal forfeiture, civil forfeiture, economic sanctions and trade sanctions - to seize, forfeit, and disrupt funds and assets supporting sanctioned regimes, terrorists, and other individuals and groups that pose a threat to our national security.

AUSAs in the National Security Section (NSS) works closely with virtually all federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Diplomatic Security Service. We also coordinate our efforts with the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, various U.S. Embassies overseas, and our foreign counterparts in law enforcement and prosecution. NSS attorneys typically work on matters in coordination with attorneys from the Department of Justice's National Security Division and attorneys from the Department's Office of International Affairs.

AUSAs in the National Security Section are expected to:
  • Be familiar with and have experience prosecuting violations of national security offenses within the Section's area of responsibility
  • Possess experience handling classified information, working with the U.S. Intelligence Community, and litigation issues under the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA);
  • Be familiar with all forms of federal criminal process and be able to obtain search warrants and other forms of criminal legal process in an efficient manner;
  • Advise federal law enforcement agents in the planning and execution of long-term national security investigations, as well as more exigent matters;
  • Conduct federal grand jury investigations;
  • Work with witnesses and victims during investigations, grand jury testimony, and trial testimony;
  • Draft charging documents, such as criminal complaints and indictments and civil forfeiture complaints, in cases that arise out of both long-term investigations and more exigent situations;
  • Be able to work well within a prosecution team setting that includes other prosecutors, law enforcement agents, and support staff;
  • Coordinate with law enforcement partners, Department of Justice components, other Federal departments and agencies, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and foreign partners, as needed, throughout the investigation and prosecution of National Security cases and matters;
  • Produce polished written products, including internal memoranda and court-filed briefs, often under tight time pressure, that effectively and persuasively summarize and analyze relevant facts and law;
  • Effectively represent the United States in regular court appearances, including preliminary and detention hearings, motions hearings, trials, plea hearings, and sentencings;
  • Be familiar with and comply with the government's discovery obligations in criminal cases, as well as all ethical rules;
  • Engage in effective negotiations with defense counsel, including to resolve cases through a plea disposition; and
  • Regularly report to National Security Section and Criminal Division supervisors.
This announcement may be used to fill additional positions for the National Security Section.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Domestic and international travel is required, sometimes on short notice.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • United States Citizen or National
  • J.D. degree and active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) required.
  • Background Investigation, credit and tax checks, and drug test required.
Security Requirements : All initial attorney positions to the Department of Justice are made on a 14-month (temporary) basis pending a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.
Residency Requirements : Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the District or within 25 miles thereof. See 28 U.S.C. § 545 for district-specific information.
Selective Service : If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See

Applicants should familiarize themselves with D.C. Legal Ethics Opinions 210 and 367 and comply with Rule 1.7 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct (regarding conflicts of interest) in connection with any matters in which the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is involved. Please indicate in your cover letter whether you currently are representing clients or adjudicating matters in which the U.S. Attorney's Office is involved and/or whether you have family members who are representing clients or adjudicating matters in which the U.S. Attorney's Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflicts of interest or disqualification issues that may need to be resolved under those circumstances.


Required Qualifications :Applicants must possess a J.D. degree; be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction); and have at least 3 years post-J.D. legal experience.

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

Applicants must be able to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance.

A four-year commitment is required.

Preferred Qualifications : The ideal candidate will have significant prior experience prosecuting national security cases, working with the U.S. Intelligence Community, and litigating issues under CIPA. A successful candidate is expected to have at least three years experience as a prosecutor; outstanding legal ability, high moral character, mature judgment, a keen desire for public service, and an exceptional aptitude for litigation.

Selections are made of the most highly qualified attorneys who apply, without regard to race, sex, religion, creed, color, national origin, handicap, age, marital status, gender identify, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Significant prior criminal and/or civil ligation experience is preferred.

Our office places a high value on diversity of experience and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified men and women from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and person with disabilities.


Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree

Additional information

Salary Information : Assistant United States Attorney's pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience. The range of basic pay is $77,392 to $170,700, which includes 30.48% locality pay.
Other Benefits: The Department of Justice offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; telework; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. The Benefits link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal Employees.
Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses will not be authorized.This announcement may be used to fill additional positions for the National Security Section.* * *This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships . The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.
Travel : Domestic and international travel is required, sometimes on short notice.
Type of Position : All initial attorney appointments to the Department of Justice are made on a 14 month (temporary) basis pending favorable adjudication of a background investigation.
Security Requirements: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory preemployment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation. Applicants must be able to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Evaluation Method: Once your complete application package is received, it will be reviewed to ensure you meet all job requirements. An attorney interview panel will then review all qualified applicants and make recommendations for invitation to interview. You will be notified if selected for an interview.The Occupational Questionnaire will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete.Veterans' Preference: There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must indicate their preference in response to the appropriate question in their assessment questionnaire (it is also recommended that information is included in their cover letter or resume) and they must submit supporting documentation (e.g., DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) which verifies their eligibility for preference. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service-connected disabilities or receipt of non-service-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).
Reasonable Accommodations : This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
Suitability/Fitness , National security

Required Documents

You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
  • Required - Your responses to the Online Occupational Questionnaire (This is completed automatically during the apply online process).
  • Required - Your resume showing relevant experience and dates of employment (include day/month/year). (cover letter optional).
  • Required, if applicable - A recent copy of an SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action), showing title, series, grade, and current salary; and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
  • Required, if applicable - To get Veterans' Preference, you must indicate your preference in response to the appropriate question in your assessment questionnaire and you must submit the appropriate supporting documentation. See the "How you will be Evaluated" section for details regarding what is appropriate Veterans' Preference documentation. It is also recommended that you include veterans' preference information in your cover letter or resume.
The Point of Contact for this vacancy announcement is District of Columbia who can be reached at 202-252-7812 or

Department of Justice Policies
Equal Employment Opportunity : The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, status as a parent, or any other non-merit-based factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO statement .

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities : The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements. Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Individuals with targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department's Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs .

Suitability and Citizenship : It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee's Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff. The two-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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