There Are No U.S. Attorneys at the Justice Department

Not any. Not one. None is the amount of U.S. attorneys in the justice department right now.

A month after dismissing federal prosecutors, Justice Department does not have any U.S. attorneys in place,” Sari Horwitz, The Washington Post

I thought the headline had to be exaggerating, but from the body of the article:

“the attorney general does not have a single U.S. attorney in place”

Remember how last month, Trump and Sessions fired everybody who hadn’t already resigned? Welp, no replacements have been hired. Not any of the 93 U.S. attorney positions have been filled.

How are they managing this? Not well. There are acting U.S. attorneys, your basic staff bureaucrat lawyer fill-in pinch hitters, but there are various statutory authorities which only the officially-appointed U.S. attorneys have, when for instance talking to police departments.

What’s weird is that although this is maybe (maybe?) good for libertarian “starve the beast, small government” republicans, it’s super bad for tough-on-crime republicans, like for instance Jeff Sessions. These are prosecutors that are missing. So this looks less like a sinister plot than another manifestation of the administration congenitally not having its ducks in a row.

It’s maybe going to take months to start filling the positions, because of the way congressional approval works. Sessions isn’t the first AG to confront this; newly-appointed Janet Reno did the same “have everybody resign” thing in March of 1993. Which, FYI, means we were U.S. attorneyless during the Waco standoff. If this is normal, it seems like a bad norm.

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