The firing of 46 United States attorneys aka Obama holdovers by President Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions has Progressive bureaucrats and their fake news propagandists in meltdown mode with many going so far as to imply (AGAIN) that the president is unfit to serve.
Unfit to serve for doing what? Business as usual? No laws were broken and the firings are within the right of the President. U. S. attorneys under the purview of the Department of Justice serve at the pleasure of the president. Parsons v. United States, 167 U.S. 324 (1897)
Accused by the media of playing politics, on March 24, 1993 Bill Clinton’s Attorney General, Janet Reno demanded the resignation of 93 United States attorneys.
WASHINGTON, March 23— Attorney General Janet Reno today demanded the prompt resignation of all United States Attorneys, leading the Federal prosecutor in the District of Columbia to suggest that the order could be tied to his long-running investigation of Representative Dan Rostenkowski, a crucial ally of President Clinton.
Jay B. Stephens, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, who is a Bush Administration holdover, said he had advised the Justice Department that he was within 30 days of making a “critical decision” in the Rostenkowski case when Ms. Reno directed him and other United States Attorneys to submit their resignations, effective in a matter of days[…]
See Reno’s 1993 letter below:
Bill Clinton entered the Oval Office with a history of corruption on his heels, including that of his affiliates which would have implied that of the 93 fired by Reno, at least one may have been a failed attempt to shut down the investigation for Rep. Rostenkowski.
END OF SIDEBAR
On March 14, 2001 George Bush’s administration replaced most of Bill Clinton’s 93 United States Attorneys.
Continuing the practice of new administrations, President Bush and the Department of Justice have begun the transition process for most of the 93 United States Attorneys.
Attorney General Ashcroft said, “We are committed to making this an orderly transition to ensure effective, professional law enforcement that reflects the President ‘s priorities.”
In January of this year, nearly all presidential appointees from the previous administration offered their resignations. Two Justice Department exceptions were the United States Attorneys and United States Marshals.
Prior to the beginning of this transition process, nearly one-third of the United States Attorneys had already submitted their resignations. The White House and the Department of Justice have begun to schedule transition dates for most of the remaining United States Attorneys to occur prior to June of this year. President Bush will make announcements regarding his nominations to the Senate of new United States Attorneys as that information becomes available. Pending confirmation of the President’s nominees, the Attorney General will make appointments of Interim United States Attorneys for a period of 120 days (28USC546). Upon the expiration of that appointment, the authority rests with the United States District Court (28USC546(d)).
Source: Justice.gov – Archives.
Politics or business as usual? The facts speak for themselves while also bearing in mind that during each transition, the media could not resist making much to do about nothing.
As written by Stuart Gerson, acting Attorney General for the Clinton administration back in 2007:
…There is a difference, but I do not find it to be an important or material one. It is customary for a President to replace U.S. Attorneys at the beginning of a term. Ronald Reagan replaced every sitting U.S. Attorney when he appointed his first Attorney General. President Clinton, acting through me as Acting Attorney General, did the same thing, even with few permanent candidates in mind….
Source: Inside the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys Controversy, by Stuart M. Gerson, Washington Post, March 21, 2007.
At the same time, we could also point out that Clinton fired twice as many United States attorneys as President Trump but for the most part, if one can count, that’s a no-brainer.
On May 14, 2009 during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Obama Attorney General, Eric Holder said:
One of the things that we didn’t want to do was to disrupt the continuity of the offices and pull people out of positions where we thought there might be a danger that that might have on the continuity–the effectiveness of the offices. But…elections matter–it is our intention to have the U.S. Attorneys that are selected by President Obama in place as quickly as they can…
Verdict: Much to do about nothing as even stated by Vox in their March 10, 2017 article entitled, President Trump asked 46 U.S. Attorneys to resign. That’s normal.
Cross-posted on Wow! Magazine.