President Biden’s Justice Department will start the process of removing most Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys appointed by the Trump administration but expects to keep two prosecutors working on high-profile, politically sensitive cases in place. The process is routine, and the attorneys will be asked to resign. On Tuesday, acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson said in a statement, “We are committed to ensuring a seamless transition.”
Remember when Trump did this and it was the end of democracy in the United States? https://t.co/AWhTczsXOC
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) February 9, 2021
Some conservatives questioned the timing of the move, coming just as impeachment proceedings against Trump got underway. Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman in the former Trump administration who now tracks activities in the Biden Justice Department, noted that when Jeff Sessions, Trump’s first attorney general, asked for resignations from U.S. attorneys appointed by Obama, Democratic leaders expressed criticism. Prior elaborated:
“The Biden Administration, like the Trump Administration before it, has the absolute right to request resignations of incumbent U.S. Attorneys. What will be frustrating to conservatives, however, is that Democrats, pearl-clutching columnists, and cable news pundits tried to spin it as a ‘threat to democracy’ when Trump did it, but will now say ‘all is well’ since it’s Biden sending the pink slips.”
In this file photo, John Durham speaks to reporters on the steps of the U.S. District Court in New Haven. Durham, Connecticut’s U.S. attorney, is leading the investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. He is no stranger to high-profile, highly scrutinized investigations. (Bob Child/AP)
According to the Justice Department, there are 93 U.S. attorneys, and the resignation request affects 56 of them.