Russell practices in the areas of government and internal investigations, white-collar criminal defense, and government relations, having worked extensively at the Department of Justice, FBI, and on Capitol Hill. Most recently, Russell served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky from September 2017 to January 2021. During his tenure as U.S. Attorney for the 53 counties of his Western Kentucky District, Russell prioritized efforts to more equitably reduce violent crime — particularly in Louisville, given its historic levels of homicide and non-fatal shootings. He also led efforts to combat increasingly sophisticated drug trafficking organizations’ distribution of higher potency narcotics and to mitigate the proliferating degrees of fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As chief federal law enforcement officer for his district, Russell had ultimate responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of all violations of federal law, civil defense of matters in which the United States was a defendant, and affirmative civil enforcement of such statues as the False Claims Act. Toward those ends, he prioritized relationship building and collaboration with state prosecutorial partners and between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
Russell previously served as Senior Advisor and Legal Counsel to U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell over a five-year period, providing counsel to Senator McConnell and his staff on a broad range of ethics and compliance matters. Russell also served as policy advisor for judiciary, law enforcement, transportation, telecommunications, and financial services portfolios, conducted vetting of successful candidates for Article III federal judicial vacancies in Kentucky, and helped to achieve High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation for three counties in the Commonwealth.
While an FBI Special Agent, Russell investigated a diverse portfolio of national security, white collar, and violent crime matters. He served as FBI Indianapolis Division’s Back-Up Chief Division Counsel, was a certified FBI Crisis (Hostage) Negotiator, and served as an on-record Media Spokesperson for the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. Russell was temporarily assigned to the National Joint Terrorism Task Force and volunteered for a 2007 assignment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Anbar Province, Republic of Iraq.
From 1999 to 2001, Russell served as Briefing Coordinator to two Attorneys General at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). In 1999, he served as a Press Assistant in the DOJ Office of Public Affairs.
Russell assists companies and individuals with government and internal investigations, helping to navigate the increasingly complex enforcement and regulatory environments. As a former presidentially appointed/Senate-confirmed United States Attorney, FBI Special Agent, and senior aide to the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, he also provides assistance in crisis response driven by increasing degrees of uncertainty and risk facing organizations from myriad fronts.
University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 2004
University of Kentucky, B.A., 1998, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
U.S. District Court for the Western District of KY
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of KY
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement & the Administration of Justice, Working Group on Police Training, Recruitment, and Retention (2019-2020)
Vice Chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, Law Enforcement Sub-committee (2017-2021)
Member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, Heroin & Opiate Working Group (2017-2021)
Executive Board Member, Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (2017-2021)
Congressional Staff Member of the Year, KY Narcotic Officers’ Association (2014)
Legislative Staff Award, National Association of Police Organizations (2014)
FBI Combat Theater Award (2010)
National Association of Former United States Attorneys
Kentucky Bar Association
Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI
KY Narcotic Officers Association
January 25, 2021
September 22, 2017
February 16, 2015