Schuette deputy reappointed as U.S. attorney in Detroit

Melissa Nann Burke
Detroit News Washington Bureau

The bench of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan in Detroit has appointed Matthew Schneider as U.S. attorney for the district — a post he will hold until the U.S. Senate confirms a nominee for the post.

Schneider is the former top deputy to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and has been serving as the district’s U.S. attorney in an interim capacity since early January when he was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

But President Donald Trump has not nominated Schneider or another candidate to fill the position, and Schneider’s interim, 120-day appointment would have expired Friday.

The court said in a Wednesday statement it had voted at its regular monthly judges’ meeting in April to make Schneider’s appointment effective Friday.

Under federal law, federal district courts have the authority to temporarily fill vacancies for U.S. attorney.

Schneider replaced Daniel Lemisch, who served as interim U.S. attorney after U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade stepped down in March 2017. Lemisch was to resume his role as first assistant U.S. attorney, but has since left the office to enter private practice.

Schneider had been mentioned as a likely nominee for the position for months, but the White House has yet to formally nominate him or a U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan.

A former federal prosecutor, Schneider worked in the Michigan Department of Attorney General overseeing its active caseload and a staff of 500. He previously was lead counsel representing Gov. Rick Snyder and the state of Michigan in the Detroit federal bankruptcy litigation.

Schneider previously worked as general counsel and chief of staff for the Michigan Supreme Court and as assistant general counsel in the White House budget office under President George W. Bush during Bush’s first term.

He served as a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District from 2003-11, where he worked on anti-terrorism cases as well as cases involving public corruption, organized crime, and street and motorcycle gangs.

Schneider graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 2000 and from Michigan State University in 1996. He’s also an adjunct law professor at MSU.