Senate Dem wants to know why prosecutor was asked to resign before Manafort was indicted

Senate Dem wants to know why prosecutor was asked to resign before Manafort was indicted
© Greg Nash

Democratic Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Sunday shows preview: Washington heads into multi-day shutdown MORE (Del.) is requesting information from the Justice Department about why a career prosecutor was asked to resign days before Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort last week.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Coons is writing a letter to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE to learn why Dana Boente was asked to quit in late October as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. That district has played a key role in the Mueller probe, Reuters wrote.

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“I‘m concerned about the abrupt departure of Dana Boente after a career as a federal prosecutor," Coons told Reuters. "There’s a lot of circumstances that connect the ongoing Mueller investigation to the Eastern District.”

Manafort was indicted last Monday along with a business associate on charges of tax fraud and money laundering. Mueller's special counsel office is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and has the authority to investigate any matters that arise from the probe.

Boente has served in a variety of roles for the Trump administration, including briefly working as acting deputy attorney general after Sally Yates was fired by Trump.

Sessions, according to Reuters, asked Boente to tender his resignation for the Eastern District in late October.

Boente will continue serving as the head of the Eastern District in Alexandria, Virginia until he is replaced and will step down as head of the National Security Division of the Justice Department once President Trump’s nominee, John Demers, is confirmed by the Senate.

Trump unveiled a seventh wave of judicial nominees in September, but has yet to nominate a replacement for Boente in Virginia. More than 100 vacancies existed in the judicial system as of last month.