May 25, 2019

Sessions asks 46 Obama-era US attorneys to resign

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked dozens of U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Obama to submit their resignations, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

U.S. attorneys are normally replaced at the beginning of new administrations. Of the 93 U.S. attorneys, 46 remain from the past administration, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Sessions asked for the federal prosecutors to resign “in order to ensure a uniform transition,” DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.

“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,” the spokeswoman said.

The DOJ said career prosecutors in Sessions’ office would continue investigations and prosecutions until the new U.S. attorneys are confirmed.

The call for resignations applies to Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, the New York Times reported.

The move is a surprise, as Bharara reportedly met with Trump after the election and agreed to remain in his position during the Trump administration. Sessions also asked him to stay, the prosecutor told The New York Times.

Democracy 21, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Campaign Legal Center sent a letter this week asking Bharara to investigate whether Trump has received payments or other benefits from foreign governments through his business interests, according to The Washington Post.

Under the “emoluments clause” of the Constitution, top officials are prohibited from receiving payments or favors from foreign governments.

Once the resignations are submitted, Trump would have to accept them.

– Jordan Fabian contributed.

Source: The Hill

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