In a move that is being widely praised by supporters of President Trump, Attorney General Sessions has asked the remaining U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Obama to resign.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores made the announcement Friday.
The Attorney General has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition. Until the new U.S. Attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. Attorney’s Offices will continue the great work of the Department in investigating, prosecuting, and deterring the most violent offenders.
The lone exception was Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan who was appointed by Obama but had announced that he would work for the Trump administration after meeting with the president at Trump Tower.
Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) said she was surprised by the move, calling it sudden and unexpected, and implying that it would undermine the enforcement of law.
"In January, I met with Vice President Pence," Feinstein said in a statement, "and White House Counsel Donald McGahn and asked specifically whether all U.S. attorneys would be fired at once. Mr. McGahn told me that the transition would be done in an orderly fashion to preserve continuity. Clearly this is not the case. I’m very concerned about the effect of this sudden and unexpected decision on federal law enforcement."
On Friday, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa said in an interview with MSNBC that Trump needed to "purge" Obama leftovers or risk having them continue to put stumbling blocks in the way of the agenda of the new president.
If I were Donald Trump, I would take a look at all of my political appointees that — and anybody that was an appointment that came from the Obama administration. I would end that tomorrow morning, or tonight for that matter.
I will use the word purge. I've used it over the last few days. I think that needs to happen. I think it's a descriptive word that fits well within the English language, and I know there are people that will attach extra meaning to that. I don't know a better word to use.
Trump has blamed leaks on people in the government who are aligned with Obama's agenda and are hostile to that of Trump, and some even believe that there is a cabal of such people orchestrating leaks to damage the president. It was one such leak that led to the discovery that Trump's former national security advisor Mike Flynn had lied about meeting with a Russian ambassador. He has since resigned, and only recently admitted doing policy work that could designate him as an "foreign agent" for the benefit of Turkey's government.
Charles Krauthammer has described the "deep state" conspirators as exacting "the revenge of the losers."