Biden administration in fraught position with some Trump-appointed US attorneys

Distrust of Trump-era appointees led the Biden administration to appoint a career Justice Department official as acting attorney general while it waits for the US Senate to confirm Merrick Garland, the President’s nominee to lead the department.

But dozens of top Trump-appointed prosecutors remain on the job while the new administration works to nominate its own appointees.
Per adesso, the department has told the Trump-appointed prosecutors they can stay, and it will be months before some of those jobs are filled with Biden nominees.
This leaves Biden administration officials grappling to determine which of the Trump appointees will remain and for how long, Department of Justice and Biden transition team officials said.
    Biden administration officials are mindful of political blowback that could come from appearing to interfere with a politically sensitive investigation by removing a Trump appointee overseeing such probes, which include matters related to the Biden family and former President Donald Trump, Justice Department and Biden transition officials said.
    A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment for this story.
    Garland’s confirmation hearing was expected to begin on February 8, but it has been delayed by former Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham who until this week when Democrats took formal control of the Senate, opposed moving quickly on Garland’s hearing.
    Graham said he needs time to question Garland on current investigations and wrote a letter on Tuesday to acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson urging himnot to interfere in or call offthe investigations.
    The probes include one led by Connecticut US Attorney and special counsel John Durham that is looking at the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s alleged involvement with the 2016 presidential election and Delaware US Attorney David Weisstax probe of Hunter Biden, the President’s son.
    Ci sono circa 55 Trump-appointed US attorneys still standing in office. Del 94 US attorneys serving in districts across the country, 25 are serving in acting positions after some Trump appointees resigned ahead of the Biden inauguration.
    Among those the Biden administration may keep for a while, according to people briefed on the matter, siamo Michael Sherwin, acting US attorney in Washington, DC, who is overseeing the sprawling probe of the January 6 attacco al Campidoglio degli Stati Uniti. Sherwin is a career prosecutor from Miami, but was installed in DC by former Attorney General William Barr, and among the options Biden administration officials have discussed is having him continue to lead the insurrection probe, perhaps from Justice headquarters, while making room for Biden’s own appointee in the DC office.
    Less certain is how long-acting US attorneys in New York City will remain in their posts: Seth DuCharme in Brooklyn and Audrey Strauss in Manhattan.
    US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers is staying put for now even, though Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown has made clear to a local news outlet that DeVillers is going to be replaced and has put out a call for resumes, according to Cleveland.com. DeVillers is currently overseeing two high-profile corruption investigations involving a former Republican lawmaker and Cincinnati council members that includes a Democrat.
    Utah US Attorney John Huber was first appointed by former President Barack Obama and then reappointed by Trump. During his second time as the US attorney, Huber was tasked by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reexamine a previous Justice Department investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s business dealings and the Clinton Foundation. Huber ended his probe, concluding there wasn’t reason to reopen the investigation, a decision that irritated Barr, according to people briefed on the matter.
    Also remaining in his post for now is Pittsburgh US Attorney Scott Brady, who Barr tasked with reviewing claims related to Ukraine and the Biden family made by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
      The move was initially seen by Justice officials as a way to keep dubious allegations from Giulianiwhich Barr publicly cast doubt onaway from other Justice Department matters.
      But Brady embraced the task, former Justice Department officials say, and pushed to take investigative steps that led to internal fights with the FBI and others. The status of Brady’s efforts on Ukraine remains unclear.

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