Despite formally recusing himself from any and all congressional investigations into Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t without controversy in his new office. The former Alabama senator, whom many believe perjured himself and should be appropriately censured, drew further ire on Friday when the Department of Justice announced it was seeking resignations from 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama. Many of those affected found out about their firings through the media, instead of hearing directly from DOJ officials — including Sessions himself.
DOJ spokesperson Peter Carr informed the Associated Press Trump had asked two U.S. attorneys, Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein, to stay. “The president called Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein tonight to inform them that he has declined to accept their resignation,” said Carr. “They will remain in their current positions” — acting deputy attorney general in Boente’s case, and Maryland’s district attorney for Rosenstein. (The latter is slated to become the next deputy attorney general.)
As for the rest, they were expected to hand in their resignation and leave their posts immediately. According to CNN, Boente “was in the beginning stages of calling each US attorney individually to tell them they had to resign when the DOJ issued a statement.” This caused anger among many of the prosecutors affected by Sessions’ memo, especially since they only found out through the news. Yet as another department spokesperson indicated, this was simply a tradition:
“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. The attorney general has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed US attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition,” Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said.