The President’s team seeks to purge the Justice Department of Trump-appointed US attorneys
The Biden administration’s Department of Justice is set to seek the resignations of almost all of the US attorneys appointed by President Donald Trump during his tenure as President of the United States.
The purging of President Trump’s appointments is expected to affect 56 US attorneys who had been confirmed by the US Senate. A senior Justice Department official said the resignation calls could begin as early as Tuesday.
The process, the DoJ official said, is expected to take a few weeks. It is unclear when the resignations would take effect or if they would all take effect at once.
There are three exceptions to the purge of US attorneys by the Biden administration and all the exceptions have to do with high profile cases.
Special counsel John Durham, a US attorney for the District of Connecticut who was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr, will continue his Russiagate investigation into the illegal activity that targeted the Trump campaign in the run-up to and the immediate aftermath of President Trump’s election to the presidency.
While Durham will resign his Connecticut position, his special counsel status exempts him from termination where the Russiagate investigation is concerned.
Also staying on in his official role as a US attorney will be Delaware US Attorney David Weiss. He was asked to stay on during a Monday call and will remained tasked with investigating illegal activity and tax law transgressions related to the President’s son, Hunter Biden.
And lastly, Acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin – a career prosecutor appointed by former Attorney General William Barr – is expected to continue his investigations into the January 6, 2021 US Capitol Building breach.
US attorneys are political appointees so mass “resignations” during presidential transition periods are not uncommon.
In 1993, President Clinton’s Attorney General, Janet Reno – best remembered for the slaughter at Waco, the persecution of Richard Jewel for the Olympic Park bombing, and seizing 6-year-old Elián González and sending him back to Communist Cuba, asked for the resignation of all 93 US attorneys in the early days of the Clinton Administration.
By contract, President Trump’s first Attorney General, Pete Sessions, requested 46 resignations of sitting US attorneys, approximately the same number of US attorneys transitioned out by the Obama administration.