The Biden administration is expected to call for the resignation of the majority of U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump, but the administration will allow the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden and the prosecutor reviewing the 2016 investigation of Trump’s campaign by the FBI to continue their work, according to Justice Department officials.
The request for resignations is expected to affect 56 U.S. attorneys. Several of the U.S attorneys appointed by Trump have already left the Justice Department since Trump’s loss in the November presidential election.
The replacement of U.S. attorneys is a common occurrence for a new administration.
The distrust of Trump appointees by the Biden administration led to the appointment of a career DOJ official to serve as acting attorney general until the Senate confirms Judge Merrick Garland to lead the Justice Department.
The move would only affect those appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate. Acting U.S. attorneys like Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who is in charge of the prosecution of rioters involved in the Capitol insurrection on January 6 will not be affected.
There are currently 25 acting U.S. attorneys serving after Trump appointees left their position prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration.
When they will be required to step down is unclear, The Clinton administration and the Trump administration called for them to leave immediately, while the Bush and Obama administrations eased them out more gradually as their replacements were chosen.
The 93 U.S. attorneys, who are responsible for prosecuting federal crimes and oversing the offices that handle those prosecutions, serve at the pleasure of the president and are generally recommended by the Senators in the state where they will be serving, but that is not always the case when the president and the senators are members of opposing political parties.