Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked the remaining 46 U.S. attorneys to resign, the Justice Department announced Friday.
The department said some attorneys, as in prior transitions, already had left the department. The statement said, “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,” the statement added.
It is not unprecedented for an incoming administration to replace most U.S. attorneys during the first year.
Sessions’ actions, though, are being closely scrutinized by Democrats after a rocky start to the AG’s time at the DOJ.
Weeks after his tight confirmation vote on Feb. 8, it emerged that Sessions had met twice with the Russian ambassador last year — despite testifying during his confirmation hearing he had no communications with the Russians.
Sessions later clarified his testimony, while recusing himself from any investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 campaign.
The move Friday also comes amid Republican concerns that officials who served under the Obama administration may be working against the Trump administration. Those suspicions, though, largely have focused on intelligence agencies, the State Department and elsewhere.