On Friday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked the remaining 46 chief federal prosecutors assigned by the Obama administration to step down, in an effort to “ensure a uniform transition,” said Justice Department.
The Department of Justice Spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores issued a statement that this type of move is not unusual to ones made during prior presidential transitions. “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,” Flores said.
A number of federal prosecutors appointed during the Obama-era have already left their posts. Of the 93 U.S. attorneys, 46 remain from the former administration.
“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,” said the statement.
Until the new U.S. Attorneys are confirmed, the remaining prosecutors in Sessions’ office “will continue the great work of the Department in investigating, prosecuting, and deterring the most violent offenders,” the statement added.
Sessions’ decision comes amid concerns from Trump aides that officials who served under Obama could be responsible for a series of leaks to the media in recent weeks, and have encouraged the president to cut off ties with all Obama loyalists.
H/T: The Hill, FOX News
The United States Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, appears to believe that he is working for a different branch of government. After Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignations of all U.S. Attorneys, a standard change of political appointees in a new Administration, Bharara reportedly indicated that President Donald Trump would have to fire him.
Just as with the bizarre conduct of Sally Yates as Acting Attorney General, Bharara has shown a curious understanding of this position and his obligations as a federal officer. If these media reports are true, President Trump should immediately accommodate him and Bharara will have to explain to future employers how he justifies such an unfounded stance. [Update: Bharara has been fired]
I sincerely hope that the reports are not true or that Bharara quickly reconsiders and gets his letter of resignation in today. This is not the way to close a successful career as U.S. Attorney.
New Administrations (particularly with a change of party) often demand such resignations — though many political appointees do not wait to be asked. Of the 93 U.S. attorneys, 46 were appointed by President Obama. There are career deputies who take over during the interim in these offices. The decision to ask for resignations depends on the president. Bill Clinton did so (including asking Jeff Sessions to resign) while George W. Bush gradually replaced U.S. Attorneys.
Ironically, presidents will sometimes ask for global resignations from political appointees only to decline to accept some on an individual basis. Bharara’s action guaranteed that he would not be one of them. US Attorneys Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein did submit their letters and appear to have to told that the president has decline to accept their resignations. We will never know of Bharar might have been on that short list because he placed himself on an even shorter list in refusing to resign.
Bharara reportedly felt blindsided by the move and earlier spoke to Trump at Trump Tower. He said that Trump directed Bharara to go out to the cameras and tell them, “I asked you to stay.” Ok, even that is true, what professional standard is Bharara relying on for this obstructive position? Bharara has no claim to this political position or right to demand to remain in the position. According to news reports, Bharara indicated that Sen. Chuck Schumer wanted him to continue and the President agreed. Again, that does not change the fact that he serves at the pleasure of the president.
The Washington Post reported that Bharara first asked for clarification if the demand for resignations applied to him. However, other media outlets like Jake Tapper at CNN are reporting that he refused to submit the letter.
If true, the demand to be fired would be astonishingly unprofessional and frankly juvenile for a high-ranking prosecutor. Bharara has assembled an impressive record as U.S. Attorney and he would tarnish both that record and his office with this position. He should be fired without delay if indeed he has refused and I would hope that such a position would weigh heavily in any future consideration for public office or appointment.
Fire Me: U.S. Attorney In Manhattan Reportedly Refuses To Resign [UPDATED]
GTFO: Trump Administration Sends Judges to Immigration Detention Centers
The Department of Justice is deploying 50 judges to immigration detention facilities across the United States, according to two sources and a letter seen by Reuters and sent to judges on Thursday.
The department is also considering asking judges to sit from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., split between two rotating shifts, to adjudicate more cases, the sources said. A notice about shift times was not included in the letter.
The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.
On Jan. 25 President Donald Trump issued an executive order aimed at speeding up deportations and holding migrants in detention until their cases can be heard. Trump campaigned on a pledge to get tougher on the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, playing on fears of violent crime while promising to build a wall on the border with Mexico and to stop potential terrorists from entering the country.
The order called for the end of a policy known as “catch and release,” by which immigrants were released from detention and given a date to appear in court. Immigration courts have a backlog of over 550,000 cases, according to the Justice Department’s data, so many court dates are set years into the future.
Judges are employed by the Justice Department to oversee cases that determine if immigrants are given protections, such as asylum, or ordered deported. A handful of judges work from detention centers but most work from courts around the country.
Two sources familiar with the Justice Department’s plan said the department would ask more judges to volunteer for one or two month deployments at detention centers. If the department cannot find enough volunteers, the department would assign judges to detention centers, the sources said.
Judges who volunteer for the first 50 deployments would be sent to detention centers in Adelanto, California; San Diego, Chicago and elsewhere, according to the letter.
Republican Trump’s policy on immigrants has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers and advocates for immigrants, who said he was jeopardizing the rights and freedoms of millions while treating Mexico as an enemy, not an ally, and damaging the country’s reputation as a welcoming place for immigrants.
Good. This is a wonderful first step.
GTFO… they are illegal. Frankly, my empathy and compassion for these invaders is subterranean. I’m done. Every year our property taxes go up to support these aliens and I’m sick of it. Ditto with insurance and everything else. Then we are fed this pablum of “let’s do it for the children”. Yeah well, what about American kids? Saddling future generations with the financial obligations and consequences resulting from this invasion is criminal. The cost of illegals in our society is somewhere between a half and three quarters of a trillion dollars per year.
While it is unfortunate for the children of illegals that were brought here by their parents and grew up here, the blame belongs to the parents not us. I’m tired of the bullshit meme that we conservatives lack compassion yada yada yada and all the hysteria coming from the left. If the illegals tended to vote illegally for republicans the left would be advocating for their deportation. That’s simply a fact. Any other narrative is a flat out lie.
If Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and other countries south of the Rio Grande were so concerned about solidarity and concern for their countrymen and women, then pray tell where is their concern for these families? Instead, those running these third world shithole kleptocracies steal everything that isn’t nailed down. Look at Venezuela for example. They are #3 in oil exports to the USA and we send them billions yet their population are eating their pets and zoo animals while their leadership steals them blind. Ditto with Mexico as they are #4 in oil imports to the USA. Where the money? These third world shitholes need their own Washingtons, Jefferson, Madisons to rebuild their countries and look after their own citizenry. Then and only then I will have compassion.