POLITICS
03/10/2017 04:25 pm ET

Jeff Sessions Asks Top Federal Prosecutors To Resign

He wants Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys gone, even before replacements are confirmed.
Yuri Gripas / Reuters

WASHINGTON ― Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked 46 top federal prosecutors appointed by former President Barack Obama to tender their resignations, the Justice Department said Friday.

“As was the case in prior transitions, many of the United States Attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice,” Sarah Isgur Flores, a DOJ spokeswoman, said in a statement. “The Attorney General has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition.” 

Previous administrations also asked top federal prosecutors appointed by a president of the other party to resign en masse. The Obama administration, however, allowed Bush-appointed U.S. attorneys to stay until successors were confirmed.

Sessions’ Justice Department said “the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. Attorney’s Offices” will take up the slack until Trump administration choices for U.S. attorneys are confirmed, according to Flores.

The 46 U.S. attorneys Sessions has asked to resign include the top federal prosecutor in Maryland, Rod Rosenstein, who President Donald Trump has nominated to become deputy attorney general. The list also includes U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York, who the Trump administration had been expected to keep.

Shortly before Trump’s inauguration, his transition team had asked U.S. attorneys to continue working for the time being.

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