Today President Donald Trump nominated Lawrence Keefe – a Hillary Clinton campaign donor – to become the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The position was previously held by Pam Marsh who was appointed by President Obama.
U.S. Attorneys require confirmation by the Senate and are usually proposed with the concurrence of the senators from that state.
Sources told Tallahassee Reports that two candidates with strong conservative credentials – Ken Sukhia and C.B. Upton, both of Tallahassee – were passed over for the position.
Sources also said that prominent lobbyist Brian Ballard was supporting Keefe’s nomination.
Publicly available records show that Keefe is a partner in the law firm of Keefe, Anchors & Gordon. This is the same law firm that has employed U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz for more than 10 years.
Gaetz is a close ally to President Trump.
Also, Keefe is a past gubernatorial appointee to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida and he was elected to the Executive Council of the Trial Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar in 2017.
In addition to a $500 donation in 2015 to the Clinton presidential campaign, Keefe also made a $2,300 donation in 2007 to the CLINTON/KAINE campaign via HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT.
Records show no donations to a Republican candidate for president in 2016.
Keefe also donated $1,000 to Bill Nelson in 2006 and 2007 for the Florida U.S Senate race and he donated $500 to the Bob Graham’s presidential campaign in 2003.
In Florida campaigns, records show that Keefe donated to prominent Democrats on several occasions. These donations include the following:
$1,000 to Dan Gelber’s campaign for attorney general in 2010
$500 to Alex Sink’s campaign for governor in 2010
$500 to Rod Smith’s campaign for governor in 2005
$500 to Jim Davis’ campaign for governor in 2005
Campaign records also show Keefe made donations to prominent Republican candidates. These candidates include Jeff Atwater ($500) in 2007 & 2009, George Lemieux ($1,100) in 2011, and Rudy Giuliani ($2,300) in 2008.