On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department announced the Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ request for the remainder of the U.S. attorneys who served during Barack Obama’s administration to retire.
Per Fox News, there are currently 46 U.S. attorneys remaining who served during Obama’s presidency. Jeff Sessions went on to claim the request is the next step in guaranteeing a “uniform transition” now that Donald Trump is President of the United States.
According to the Justice Department, a number of U.S. attorneys who served during Barack Obama’s presidency have already resigned from the department. Jeff Sessions, however, believes it is time for the remaining attorneys to tender their resignations so the Department of Justice can continue to move forward with the new POTUS.
“Until the new U.S. Attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. Attorney’s Offices will continue the great work of the Department in investigating, prosecuting, and deterring the most violent offenders.”
Peter Carr, a representative of the Department of Justice, told Fox News the President contacted both Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein to inform them that “he has declined to accept their resignation, and they will remain in their current positions.”
— CNN (@CNN) March 10, 2017
Naturally, the statement made by Jeff Sessions on Friday has caused a bit of confusion as no additional information – or guidance – was given to Southern District of New York Preet Bharara. As you may recall, Preet Bharara was appointed during Obama’s presidency and took on the role of Manhattan U.S. Attorney back in 2009. After having a meeting with Donald Trump, however, the U.S. attorney agreed to stay on during Donald Trump’s presidency. Is he, now, supposed to resign? Or, are there exceptions to the request Jeff Sessions has made for all of the remaining attorneys to resign?
Fox News notes it is worth mentioning that it is customary but not automatic for the 93 U.S. attorneys to leave their position in the Department of Justice when a new POTUS takes office. Most of the time, a new President will spend the first year or two of his presidency replacing all – or most – of the attorneys. It is a little unusual for the POTUS to move towards removing all of the attorneys so quickly though.
During the Obama presidency, U.S. attorneys were permitted to continue to serve in their positions until a replacement had been named and confirmed to take the spot. Rod Rosenstein of Maryland – who served during Bush’s presidency – even remained in his position during Obama’s entire presidency. Rod is currently a nominee for the deputy attorney general position.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is feeling the head as his actions regarding the Department of Justice are being closely watched and criticized by Democrats. In fact, just weeks after his very tight confirmation vote to be Attorney General took place on February 8, it was brought to light that he had met twice with a Russian ambassador just last year. This news broke despite Sessions testifying during his confirmation hearing that he had not had any form of communication or contact with the Russians. Sessions later adjusted his original testimony and recused himself from any additional investigation into whether or not the Russians had an impact on the 2016 election campaign.
Most are referring to Sessions decision to fire the remaining U.S. attorneys in one swift action as “abrupt” and “surprising.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., issued a statement late on Friday with her opinion of what was happening.
“I’m surprised to hear that President Trump and Attorney General Sessions have abruptly fired all 46 remaining U.S. attorneys. In January, I met with Vice President Pence and White House Counsel Donald McGahn and asked specifically whether all U.S. attorneys would be fired at once. Mr. McGahn told me that the transition would be done in an orderly fashion to preserve continuity. Clearly this is not the case. I’m very concerned about the effect of this sudden and unexpected decision on federal law enforcement.”
How do you feel about the request Jeff Sessions has made for all U.S. attorneys remaining from the Obama administration to resign? Share your thoughts with us in the comment’s section found down below.
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