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Biography

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.

During his tenure as the chief federal law enforcement officer for the 53 counties of his 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 dangerous narcotics and to respond to the exploding volume of fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Toward those ends, Russell prioritized relationship building and collaboration with state prosecutorial partners and between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Prior to his nomination as U.S. Attorney, Russell was in private practice at Frost Brown Todd in Louisville. As part of his practice, he actively assisted clients with common sense reform of the criminal justice system, to include a first-time path to expungement of non-violent offenses in Kentucky as well as a package of re-entry reforms via Senate Bill 120. During this time, he also served as a volunteer Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Oldham County, Kentucky.

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 a policy advisor, conducted vetting of successful candidates for federal judicial vacancies, and helped to achieve High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation for multiple counties in the Commonwealth.

While an FBI Special Agent, Russell investigated a diverse portfolio of national security, white collar, and violent crime matters, and was certified as an FBI Crisis (Hostage) Negotiator. He volunteered for a 2007 temporary duty assignment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Anbar Province, Iraq.

From 1999 to 2001, Russell served as Briefing Coordinator to two Attorneys General at the U.S. Department of Justice.

He currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Kentucky State Police Foundation.

Russell is admitted to practice law in Kentucky only, and will be engaged in D.C. only on non-legal consulting as a Principal through FBT’s public affairs affiliate, CivicPoint.

Other Info About Russell

Work History

Prior Work Experience

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.

Education

Law School

University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 2004
Moot Court Board
Trial Advocacy Board
Book Award in Federal Courts
Represented the University of Kentucky College of Law at 2004 National Mock Trial Competition

Undergraduate School

University of Kentucky, B.A., 1998, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Memberships

Russell is licensed to practice in the following state(s):

Kentucky, 2004

Courts

Russell is admitted to practice before the following court(s):

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

Recognition

Local & National Recognition

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)

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

National Association of Former United States Attorneys

Kentucky Bar Association

Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI

KY Narcotic Officers Association

Civic Activities

Civic & Charitable Organizations

Kentucky State Police Foundation, Board of Directors

Leadership Kentucky, Class of 2021

Leadership Louisville, Class of 2016

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