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Terminations/Cost Cutting

Preet Bhara and 45 Other U.S. Attorneys Asked to Resign - AG Sessions

March 10, 2017

[Photo: AG Jeff Sessions with VP Mike Pence;  by Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons]


The NYTimes reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked the remaining 46 chief federal prosecutors left over from the Obama administration to resign immediately. And that includes Preet Bharara. In November, Trump personally asked Mr. Bharara to stay on. Apparently not for the long haul! 


While today's firings were a surprise, it's important to remember that federal prosecutors are political appointments and that it's not unusual for a new president to replace U.S.attorneys appointed by a predecessor. In terms of replacing all U.S. attorneys at once, think back to 1993, when Bill Clinton fired all 93 U.s. attorneys on the same day. In any case, until the new U.S. Attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in each office will take over and serve in an acting capacity.


SIDENOTES:  The New York Times wonders where Dana Boente, the acting deputy attorney general, stands in this firing scenario. Mr. Boente, who was on the phone to at least some of the terminated attorneys, is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. It's also unclear how the order affects Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for Maryland, whom Mr. Trump has nominated to be the deputy attorney general.


For Your Consideration.    Perhaps the Trump administration wishes to stifle the progress of federal prosecution cases - in its efforts to thin out the regulatory environment. It's interesting to note that today's firings come less than 24 hours after Fox News commentator, on his show, called for a 'purge' of Obama appointees at the Justice Department - that, from The NYTImes.