DOJ to seek resignations of most Trump-appointed US attorneys: report
The Justice Department plans to seek the resignation of most U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Trump, CNN reported Monday.
The transition move between administrations is expected to impact 56 U.S. attorneys who were confirmed by the Senate, a senior Justice Department official told CNN. The official said the calls for such resignations may begin as early as Tuesday.
The official said the process is anticipated to take weeks but did not indicate when the resignations would take effect. Department officials reportedly have scheduled a call with U.S. attorneys for the transition.
But President Biden’s Justice Department plans to keep at least two prosecutors to continue their work. Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson requested Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to stay on during a Monday call in order to keep working on his investigation into the president’s son, Hunter Biden, according to CNN.
Special counsel John Durham, appointed by former Attorney General William Barr, will also be asked to continue his investigation into the origins of the previous probe into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. But he will resign as U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.
The Justice Department did not immediately return The Hill’s request for comment.
The move to ask for the resignation of a previous administration’s appointed U.S. attorneys is seen as a mostly routine move.
Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, called on 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Obama to resign. Currently, 25 of the 94 U.S. attorneys are operating in an acting manner after several appointed by Trump resigned following his election loss.
Acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Michael Sherwin, a career prosecutor appointed by Barr, is also expected to keep pursuing investigations into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Biden has chosen Merrick Garland to serve as his attorney general, but Garland has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. His confirmation hearing was initially requested to begin on Monday, but Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, denied that request in early February citing Trump’s second impeachment trial, beginning on Tuesday, as as a “roadblock.”
The House impeached Trump a week before the end of his presidency, on a charge of inciting the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that resulted in five deaths. Trump’s legal team has called for the Senate to dismiss the trial, saying the effort is unconstitutional because he no longer holds office.