Anthony Trenga

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Anthony John Trenga
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Assumed office
May 28, 2020
Appointed byJohn Roberts
Preceded byMichael W. Mosman
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Assumed office
October 14, 2008
Appointed byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byWalter DeKalb Kelley Jr.
Personal details
Anthony John Trenga

1949 (age 70–71)
Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania
EducationPrinceton University (A.B.)
University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.)

Anthony John Trenga (born 1949) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Trenga was born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Mercersburg Academy in 1967[1] and received an Artium Baccalaureus degree from Princeton University in 1971. He received a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1974. He was a law clerk to Judge Ted Dalton of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia from 1974 to 1975.


From 1975 to 1987, Trenga was in private practice in Washington, D.C. with the law firm Sachs, Greenebaum & Tayler, becoming a partner in 1982. He was managing partner at Hazel & Thomas in Alexandria, Virginia from 1987 to 1998, and back in the District of Columbia from 1998 to 2008 with Miller & Chevalier.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Trenga is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria. Trenga was nominated by President George W. Bush on July 17, 2008, to a seat vacated by Walter DeKalb Kelley Jr.. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 26, 2008, and received his commission on October 14, 2008.

Notable cases[edit]

In October 2009, Trenga set aside the jury conviction of two top salespeople at Teach Me to Trade, a part of Whitney Information Network,[3] which uses infomercials and hotel seminars across the country to sell courses and software on making money in the stock market. In a 51-page ruling, Trenga said prosecutors failed to show Utah residents Linda Woolf and David Gengler had been part of any fraud scheme.[4]

On September 24, 2012, the American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center1 (ATI) filed a lawsuit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. District Court and asked the court to find that the EPA failed to comply with laws controlling human experimentation. The ATI sought to “immediately halt EPA’s human experimentation which intentionally exposes human subjects, to ‘fine particles’ such as those ‘produced by car and coal-fired power plants.’” In addition, the ATI sought declaratory relief, asking the court to find that the EPA failed to adequately inform participants that the pollution they would be inhaling as part of the experiment posed a serious risk to their health. On January 31, 2013, the ATI’s case against the EPA was thrown out by Judge Anthony Trenga who determined the EPA’s alleged actions did not constitute “final agency action” under the Administrative Procedure Act.10 Judge Trenga also determined that because the ATI was not personally being harmed by the experiments, it did not have standing to pursue the case. [5]

On March 24, 2017, Trenga was the first federal judge to rule in favor of the Trump administration's executive order that limits travel from six Muslim-majority countries.[6]

On May 16, 2019, Trenga re-incarcerated whistleblower Chelsea Manning, holding her in contempt after she refused to testify before a federal grand jury, adding the threat of daily fines up to $500 after 30 days and $1,000 after 60 days. This came a week after Manning was freed from 62 days of incarceration for the same offense before another federal grand jury.[7]

On September 4, 2019, Trenga ruled that the United States government’s watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” violates the constitutional rights of those listed on it.[8]

On September 24, 2019, Trenga set aside the conviction of Bijan Khan, business partner of Donald Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, on acting as an agent for a foreign power without notifying the Justice Department. Flynn was found guilty and was awaiting sentencing in his own foreign power lobbying case.[9]

On March 12, 2020, Trenga freed whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who had attempted to kill herself the day before.[10] Trenga ordered that Manning pay $256,000 in fines that had accumulated over the course of her confinement.[11]


  1. ^ "Order In the Court" Mercersburg Magazine Winter 2014, page 25. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  2. ^ "New U.S. Judge in N.Va. Is Cited as Thorough and Fair" by Jerry Markon with staff research by Meg Smith, Washington Post, March 19, 2009. Retrieved Oct. 26, 2009.
  3. ^ "Duo From 'Teach Me to Trade' Seminars Charged With Fraud" by Matthew Barakat, Associated Press via Washington Post, March 12, 2008. Retrieved Oct. 26, 2009.
  4. ^ "Judge Tosses Verdicts Against Infomercial Pair" Associated Press via The New York Times, October 26, 2009. Retrieved Oct. 26, 2009.
  6. ^ Rosenberg, Mica (March 24, 2017). "Virginia court rules for Trump in travel ban dispute, order still halted". Reuters. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Hosenball, Mark (May 16, 2019). "Ex-soldier and WikiLeaks source Manning returned to jail for defying grand jury subpoena". Reuters. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
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Legal offices
Preceded by
Walter DeKalb Kelley Jr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Preceded by
Michael W. Mosman
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court