Garland taps new official to lead US attorneys after Trump-era lawyers asked to resign

Trump-era US attorneys transitioned out of their roles at the end of February

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday tapped former acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson to lead the U.S. attorneys within the Justice Department after the Biden administration asked Trump-appointed federal prosecutors to resign.

Garland appointed Wilkinson to serve as the director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, a role Wilkinson previously served in from 2014 to December 2017. Prior to that, Wilkinson served as the office’s principal deputy director and chief of staff.

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Wilkinson, who served as acting attorney general during the transition, also served in other senior roles within the Justice Department as well as senior management positions within the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Garland touted Wilkinson’s work to "honor" the Justice Department’s "proud traditions during the leadership transition between new administrations."

President Biden's pick for attorney general, Merrick Garland, waves before addressing staff on his first day at the Department of Justice, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

President Biden's pick for attorney general, Merrick Garland, waves before addressing staff on his first day at the Department of Justice, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP) ((Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP))

"The Department is fortunate to have Monty back at EOUSA and I am confident he will help continue to build upon our many successes in enforcing our country’s laws, bringing criminals to justice and ensuring equal justice under the law," Garland said Monday.

Wilkinson will take over at the helm for Norman Wong, who had been serving as the acting director of EOUSA since President Biden took office. Wong will return as principal deputy director.

As is typical when a new administration comes in, the Biden administration in February asked Trump-era U.S. attorneys to resign from their posts.

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The Justice Department said earlier this year, "nearly all presidential appointees from the previous administration offered their resignations, though U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals were asked to temporarily remain in place."

The DOJ said that before the beginning of the transition process, approximately one-third of the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices were already led by acting or interim leadership.

The Justice Department said the president will make an announcement regarding nominations to the Senate "as that information becomes available."

BIDEN DOJ ASKS TRUMP-APPOINTED US ATTORNEYS TO RESIGN

The U.S. attorneys transitioned out of their roles at the end of February, with the exception of the prosecutor overseeing the federal tax investigation into Hunter Biden, David Weiss for Delaware. John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, resigned from his position as U.S. attorney but is staying on as special counsel to continue his now yearslong investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

Meanwhile, Channing Phillips became acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, with former acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin transitioning to continue the "overall supervision" of the Capitol riot investigation "at the request of" the Justice Department, Fox News first reported.