Ex-Trump appointee joins US Hemp Roundtable

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A former federal prosecutor in western Kentucky has re-joined the U.S. Hemp Roundtable to lead efforts to cooperate with law enforcement.

Russell Coleman was appointed by former President Donald Trump as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. He served from 2017 until Jan. 20, resigning when President Joe Biden was inaugurated.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an advocacy group for hemp operators, says that Coleman will ensure members abide by the group’s ethics policy. He is also charged with serving as a “liaison for the hemp industry to law enforcement officials across the country.”

Coleman held the same role at the Hemp Roundtable before his appointment as a federal prosecutor.

Coleman also formerly worked for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who is from Kentucky and is credited for steering hemp legalization in 2018.

While U.S. attorney, Coleman’s office reviewed but did intervene in bringing charges after the March police shooting of Breonna Taylor during the execution of a drug warrant. A state grand jury ultimately declined to bring criminal charges against the officers in that case.

In his resignation letter, Coleman called on Louisville to deploy violence-reduction strategies “to build relationships between law enforcement and communities that feel under-protected and over-enforced.”

Coleman “has modeled integrity and character in decades of public and private sector service, and both his example and his experience will help ensure that we have an industry for which we can be proud,” U.S. Hemp Roundtable lawyer Jonathan Miller said in a statement.

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