Trump To Nominate New US Attorney For Swampy DC Office
Mon, 05/18/2020 – 19:45
President Trump says he plans to nominate Justin Herdman to serve as US attorney for Washington DC – which has been at the center of the controversial prosecutions of Trump allies Michael Flynn and Roger Stone.
Herdman – currently the US attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, would replace interim US attorney for Washington, Timothy Shea – whose appointment may not exceed 120 days by law and will expire next month, according to The Hill. Herdman’s appointment requires Senate approval. If rejected, the DC District Court will appoint a new interim US attorney until the position is eventually filled. He was confirmed in 2017 by voice vote for his current position.
Shea, meanwhile, has attracted controversy for his involvement in the DOJ’s request to drop charges against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, as well as seek a lighter sentence for Stone.
Critics argue that Shea, who previously served as senior counsel to Attorney General William Barr, has been instrumental in the politicization of the DOJ.
After Shea and other top agency officials overruled career prosecutors earlier this year to request a more lenient sentence for Stone, the entire four-person prosecution team withdrew from the case, a stunning move taken in apparent protest.
One of those prosecutors, Jonathan Kravis, quit the department entirely. He broke his silence this month to excoriate what he described as political influence over the DOJ after Shea signed a motion to drop criminal charges against Flynn, despite his previously pleading guilty to lying to the FBI. -The Hill
Meanwhile, career prosecutor Brandon Van Grack – who was involved in securing Flynn’s ‘perjury trap’ plea agreement, withdrew from Flynn’s case without explanation an hour before the DOJ filed to drop the charges, according to the report. While he hasn’t resigned, he has reportedly also withdrawn from other cases.