The Justice Department, as soon as Tuesday, is expected to ask US attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump to submit their resignations, a turnover expected to spare two top prosecutors in Delaware and Connecticut overseeing two sensitive Trump-era investigations, a senior Justice Department official said.
In a call Monday night, acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson asked Delaware US Attorney David Weiss to remain in office, where he is overseeing the tax probe of Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son. John Durham, appointed as special counsel by former Attorney General William Barr to reinvestigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, will also continue his work, but he is expected to resign as US attorney in Connecticut, the Justice official said.
The resignation request is expected to apply to 56 Senate-confirmed US attorneys appointed by Trump.
Justice officials have scheduled a call with US attorneys around the country to discuss a transition that is expected to take weeks. The Justice official didn’t say when the resignations would take effect.
The changeover of US attorneys is routine, but is often fraught with political overtones. In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked 46 Obama-appointed US attorneys to submit their resignations. A handful were allowed to stay on for a brief period, but most had to leave immediately.
* Press release…
U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today released the following statement after it was reported that the Biden Administration will terminate John Lausch as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois:
“While we agree with the Biden Administration’s criminal justice agenda, we are disappointed with the decision to terminate U.S. Attorney Lausch without consulting us. In 2017, our non-partisan screening committee gave its support for Mr. Lausch to serve in this position, and the Senate confirmed him unanimously.
“While the President has the right to remove U.S. Attorneys, there is precedent for U.S. Attorneys in the Northern District of Illinois to remain in office to conclude sensitive investigations. We believe Mr. Lausch should be permitted to continue in his position until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, and we urge the Biden Administration to allow him to do so.”
In August 2017, the non-partisan screening committee set up by Durbin and Duckworth to assist them in evaluating candidates for vacant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, and federal judgeship positions in Illinois recommended Mr. Lausch to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He was unanimously confirmed by voice vote in the Senate on November 9, 2017.