Changing of the guard
The Justice Department as soon as Tuesday will ask the remaining U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump to submit their resignations, paving the way for President Biden to choose the nation's top federal prosecutors, CNN and The Associated Press reported Monday night, citing a senior Justice Department official. The requests will affect 56 Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys appointed by Trump. Many of Trump's appointees already resigned.
There are two big exceptions to the resignation requests, the official said: David Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware who is overseeing a tax investigation of Hunter Biden, and U.S. Attorney John Durham. Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson called Weiss on Monday night and asked him to remain in office, CNN reports, and Durham will reportedly keep his position as special counsel overseeing the origins of the Trump-Russian investigation while resigning as U.S. attorney for Connecticut. Former Attorney General William Barr secretly made Dunham a special counsel in October.
New administrations frequently replace some or all of the U.S. attorneys appointed by their predecessors. The shift to new appointees is expected to take several weeks, and some other U.S. attorneys may be asked to stay on for a while in some capacity, CNN reports, naming as an example Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., who is overseeing the investigation of the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
The Senate has not yet scheduled a confirmation hearing for Biden's attorney general nominee, Merrick Garland, because Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) opposed moving forward with the nomination while he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Democrats took control of Senate committees this week.