Over the weekend Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested the resignations of all Obama-era federal attorneys. That’s more than 40 appointed U.S. attorneys, including Barbara McQuade from the Eastern District of Michigan.
The attorneys had little choice but to leave. An attorney from New York City said he would refuse to resign, and he was promptly fired.
“It’s customary for a new president to come in and replace U.S. attorneys in due course,” McQuade tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson. But, she says, the attorneys were asked by the Trump administration to stay on for some period of time for a smooth transition, so the mass resignation request was sudden and surprising.
“And then, suddenly, very late on a Friday afternoon asked to resign immediately, which is a little disruptive to our offices,” she says.
McQuade says Michigan residents shouldn’t be concerned about the future or stability of the office she’s leaving.
“Our office has 115 career prosecutors…the work of those people doesn’t really change,” she says. ”I’m hopeful that whoever President Trump appoints to do this work will continue that tradition of independence and will look at cases and charge them regardless of party.”
POLITICO reported the vacating U.S. attorneys may be a boon to state Democratic parties throughout the nation hoping to recruit new talent for higher offices. McQuade says she has no plans to run for office. The Detroit Free Press reports McQuade has taken a job with the University of Michigan Law School.
To hear more from McQuade on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.