The Department of Justice, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is cleaning house.
The Associated Press blared that Sessions was seeking the resignation of nearly four dozen attorneys from Obama administration.
BREAKING: Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeks resignation of 46 United States attorneys remaining from prior administration.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) March 10, 2017
Fox News is reporting about the Attorney General seeking the resignations:
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked the remaining 46 U.S. attorneys who served under the Obama administration to resign, the Justice Department announced Friday, describing the move as part of an effort to ensure a “uniform transition.”
The department said some U.S. attorneys, as in prior transitions, already had left the department. Now, “the Attorney General has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their resignations,” a spokeswoman said.
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 statement clarified.
As Fox News also pointed out:
It is customary, though not automatic, for the country’s 93 U.S. attorneys to leave their positions once a new president is in office. Incoming administrations over the past several decades typically have replaced most U.S. attorneys during the first year or two.
Some members of the public hailed the step as a “purge” of the Obama administration:
BREAKING: AG Sessions asking for resignations of the 46 U.S. Attorneys appointed by Obama. The much needed purge is beginning.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) March 10, 2017
— TryToBeNice (@chicktotheright) March 10, 2017
Though some believed that Jeff Sessions, currently under fire for purportedly lying under oath about his meetings with a Russian ambassador, was wrongfully targeting DOJ officials.
This reminds me of what Cheney and the Bush admin did ~ Jeff Sessions must be stopped. US Attorneys should not resign!!
— JennaLee?#ItsMuellerTime ?? (@JennaLeeTV) March 10, 2017
And therefore EVERYTHING that criminal does as AG is straight up tyranny. Because it is unjust.
— Jessica ??? (@NoFascistsPls) March 10, 2017
Of course, the practice is nothing new, as pointed out by the LA Times in a 2007 article. The practice actually goes back to the Reagan administration. Ex-president Bill Clinton actually asked for the resignation of all 93 U.S. attorneys under former Attorney General Janet Reno.
Even standard practices like Attorney Generals asking DOJ officials to resign have turned into controversial actions. But a little investigation shows that these actions are often not all that unprecedented, after all.