Runs a large office of prosecutors. Sets the overall policy for the office/judicial district. Is a politician of sorts (or most often comes from a political background aligned with the the party in power) and deals with other politicians and the higher ups in Washington at the Justice Department. Speaks to newspapers at press conferences. Just like any C-level executive leaves the actual work to the "grunts".
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Rudy Giuliani, before he was mayor of NYC, was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In that capacity he substantially dismantled the New York mob. He devised the strategy for doing so and governed the implementation of that strategy. Rudy was a republican in a democratic town. His tenure as US Attorney was his gateway to City Hall.
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A U.S. Attorney is the chief federal prosecutor for his or her region of the U.S. Department of Justice. There is only one U.S. Attorney for each region; it is like being the manager of a law firm. Assistant US attorneys are the attorneys who work under the U.S. Attorney doing the actual day to day legal work, including trials.
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