Speed Reads

u.s. attorneys

Jeff Sessions uses executive authority to appoint 17 interim U.S. attorneys

Using executive authority, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has tapped 17 current and former federal prosecutors to lead U.S. attorneys' offices across the country on an interim basis.

Sessions had to make the move quickly to beat a deadline; after President Trump fired dozens of lead federal prosecutors last March, he had 300 days to fill the positions. With Sessions making the temporary appointments, Trump now has 120 days to submit to the Senate his nominations for permanent candidates. If he misses the deadline, a federal court in each district will make an interim appointment until the White House and lawmakers can agree on nominees.

A person familiar with the matter told NBC News that's exactly the problem Trump is facing — some senators, like Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, do not agree with him on the candidates he supports for their state. Schumer and Gillibrand reportedly approve his pick for the Eastern District of New York, former prosecutor Richard Donoghue, but are against his preferred candidate for the Southern District of New York, Rudy Giuliani's law partner Geoffrey Berman. Berman, who was interviewed by Trump last year and would have oversight over federal investigations into Trump Tower in Manhattan, is taking over the office on an interim basis.