Note: this piece was originally published in The Washington Post, and features a quote from Checks & Balances member Stuart Gerson.
Barr’s actions in cases handed off by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia probe and “packing” senior supervisory positions with close associates “seriously undermines the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C.’s . . . long-standing reputation for independence from political influence,” said Charles R. Work, a former office prosecutor, Republican Justice Department political appointee and president of the D.C. Bar.
“This represents a politicization of the U.S. attorney’s office of the District of Columbia that is remarkable and unique and unprecedented,” said Stuart M. Gerson, a Republican and former Barr aide who served as acting attorney general briefly under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. “It’s a political coup; there really can be no question about it.”
Trump on Monday announced he intends to nominate Cleveland U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman to the office’s top slot and replace Timothy J. Shea, who has had a rocky three-month tenure. As principal assistant to Shea, Sherwin will take over the office on an acting basis effective Tuesday and can remain through mid-December without needing Senate approval. An administration official said Herdman will need Senate confirmation for the position, so it is unclear when he will arrive in Washington.
Continue reading at The Washington Post.