As with Dubya, Obama, and Trump before him, Joe Biden is mostly cleaning house at the various DoJ US Attorney offices with the goal of Senate appointments for new federal prosecutors. However, Biden is leaving several in place, including the one trying to railroad his own son Hunter.
The Justice Department, as soon as Tuesday, is expected to ask US attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump to submit their resignations, a turnover expected to spare two top prosecutors in Delaware and Connecticut overseeing two sensitive Trump-era investigations, a senior Justice Department official said.
In a call Monday night, acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson asked Delaware US Attorney David Weiss to remain in office, where he is overseeing the tax probe of Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden's son. John Durham, appointed as special counsel by former Attorney General William Barr to reinvestigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, will also continue his work, but he is expected to resign as US attorney in Connecticut, the Justice official said.
The resignation request is expected to apply to 56 Senate-confirmed US attorneys appointed by Trump.
Justice officials have scheduled a call with US attorneys around the country to discuss a transition that is expected to take weeks. The Justice official didn't say when the resignations would take effect.
The changeover of US attorneys is routine, but is often fraught with political overtones. In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked 46 Obama-appointed US attorneys to submit their resignations. A handful were allowed to stay on for a brief period, but most had to leave immediately.
Distrust of Trump-era appointees led the Biden administration to appoint a career Justice Department official as acting attorney general while it waits for the US Senate to confirm Merrick Garland, the President's nominee to lead the department.
Garland's confirmation hearing was expected to begin on February 8, but it has been delayed by former Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham who, until this week when Democrats took formal control of the Senate, opposed moving quickly on Garland's hearing.
Graham said he needs time to question Garland on current investigations and wrote a letter on Tuesday to Wilkinson urging him "not to interfere in or call off" the investigations.
Of the 94 US attorneys serving in districts across the country, 25 are serving in acting positions after some Trump appointees resigned ahead of the Biden inauguration.
Among those the Biden administration may keep for a while, according to people briefed on the matter, are Michael Sherwin, acting US attorney in Washington, DC, who is overseeing the sprawling probe of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Sherwin is a career prosecutor from Miami, but was installed in DC by former Attorney General William Barr, and among the options Biden administration officials have discussed is having him continue to lead the insurrection probe, perhaps from Justice headquarters, while making room for Biden's own appointee in the DC office.
Less certain is how long acting US attorneys in New York City will remain in their posts: Seth DuCharme in Brooklyn and Audrey Strauss in Manhattan.
Some high-profile US attorneys who had not resigned ahead of Biden's inauguration included US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers, Utah US Attorney John Huber and Pittsburgh US Attorney Scott Brady.
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown had made clear to a local news outlet that DeVillers is going to be replaced and has put out a call for resumes, according to Cleveland.com. DeVillers is currently overseeing two high-profile corruption investigations involving a former Republican lawmaker and Cincinnati council members that includes a Democrat.
Biden's a lot nicer than I'd be about this, but Chuck Schumer needs to pay a visit to Lindsey Graham's office and get Merrick Garland as AG done already.
And yes, the Democrat that the article mentions at the end there here in Cincy is P.G. Sittenfeld, who is almost certainly going to prison for bribery and fraud for a few years instead of being the city's next Mayor.
Still, we'll see what becomes of all these leftover Trump regime "investigations". I doubt Garland will have much in the way of patience for the usual political nonsense.