President Joe Biden will ask nearly all Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys to tender their resignations as early as Tuesday, while allowing two federal prosecutors to continue their politically-charged investigations.
David C. Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware, will remain in his position. Weiss’s office is investigating Hunter Biden for possible tax fraud involving his overseas business dealings. The younger Biden confirmed on Dec. 9 that he was under investigation by the Delaware prosecutor.
John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, will be asked to resign his position, but will remain as a special counsel to continue an investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.
Biden’s move is not unusual as presidents have historically ousted prosecutors held over from their predecessors. President Donald Trump asked 46 Obama-era holdovers to tender their resignations on March 10, 2017. The maneuver generated some scrutiny for Trump even though the decision was not unprecedented.
CNN at the time blared the headline, “Anger mounts over handling of US attorney firings.”
Their headline for the Biden story reads, “DOJ to ask Trump-appointed US attorneys to resign.”
President Biden has pledged to not interfere in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s finances, though he has said that he is “confident” that his son did nothing wrong.
Biden had been less specific about Durham’s probe, which began in April 2019 as a review of the Obama-era intelligence community’s surveillance of the Trump campaign.
Then-Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham a special counsel on Oct. 19, and granted him authorization to produce a report to be provided to the attorney general and the public.
The investigation has largely followed up on the findings from an investigation led by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Horowitz found that the FBI made at least 17 “significant” errors and omissions in applications for warrants to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Many of the errors involved the FBI’s handling of the Steele dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Durham’s investigation has led to only one conviction, much to the disappointment of Trump supporters. Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI attorney, pleaded guilty on Aug. 19, 2020, to altering a June 2017 email about Carter Page’s past relationship with the CIA.
A federal judge sentenced Clinesmith to one year probation with no jail time on Jan. 29.