Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney General, is cleaning house, trying to rid the Trump administration of past presidency supporters. Sessions has officially asked for all US attorneys still remaining who were appointed by former President Barack Obama to resign.
A US attorney acts as the chief federal prosecutor for a specific jurisdiction. Over the past presidencies, it’s become standard practice for appointees of previous administrations to resign from their jobs at the Department of Justice early-on during new presidencies.
During the early months of his administration, former President Ronald Reagan dismissed 89 US attorneys. Former president Bill Clinton replaced 93 early in his presidency.
Sarah Isgur Flores, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice made a statement on the subject. According to her, many of the US attorneys that were nominated by Obama have already resigned from the Justice Department.
“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.”
“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,” she added.
It was not immediately clear if U.S. attorney Dana Boente is among those dismissed. Boente is U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Virginia. He served as acting attorney general for several days after the Trump administration dismissed acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend the president’s first executive order on refugees and migrants in court. He currently is serving as acting deputy attorney general, pending the confirmation of Rod Rosenstein.
The administration asked Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, to remain in office. It was not immediately clear is he was affected by the order.
There are 94 U.S. Attorneys, all of whom are appointed by the president.