Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys have until the end of the month to hand in their resignations, according to multiple reports, which means Massachusetts will likely soon have a new top federal prosecutor.
A senior Justice Department official speaking on background said that most of the U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump will be asked to resign. Various U.S. attorneys from around the country have told media outlets that President Biden’s administration is giving them until the end of the month.
The office of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, told the Herald on Tuesday that he’s still on the job, but didn’t elaborate further. Various local lawyers have applied for the position, sources have said.
The U.S. attorney overseeing the federal tax probe involving Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, will remain in place. The acting attorney general, Monty Wilkinson, called U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who runs the federal prosecutor’s office in Delaware, and asked him to remain in place, the DOJ official said.
The Justice Department has been investigating the finances of Hunter Biden, including scrutinizing some of his Chinese business dealings and other transactions. The tax investigation was launched in 2018, the year before the elder Biden announced his candidacy for president. Hunter Biden confirmed the existence of the investigation in December after a round of subpoenas was issued in the case.
The subpoena seeking documents from Hunter Biden in December asked for information related to more than two dozen entities, including Ukraine gas company Burisma.
Separately, U.S. Attorney John Durham, who was appointed in October by then-Attorney General William Barr as a special counsel to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, will remain in that capacity, the senior Justice Department official said, but is expected to resign from his other position as the U.S. attorney in Connecticut.
It’s fairly customary for the U.S. attorneys to leave their positions after a new president is in office, but the departures are not automatic and don’t necessarily happen all at once. In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 U.S. attorneys who were holdovers from the Obama administration.
The 93 U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president and are generally nominated with a recommendation from a home-state senator.
Herald wire services contributed to this report.
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