United States President Donald Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday asked the remaining 46 chief federal prosecutors from Obama administration to tender their resignation. The said prosecutors also included US Attorney Preet Bahara, who had been asked by Trump in November last year to stay on.
The abrupt move by the Trump administration has come as a surprise even though the US attorneys are political appointees. Every new administration does not replace all US attorneys at once.
The resignation requests were confirmed by a Justice Department spokesperson, including Bahara's whose office looks after some of the most criticial business and criminal cases which pass through the federal judicial system, according to Reuters.
Bahara had reportedly met Trump on November 30, after which the attorney had said that the duo had a "good meeting" and he had agreed to continue in Trump's administration.
Reports state that when an official contacted Bahara to tender his resignation, the US attorney was left confused whether the person asking him to resign was aware that Trump has asked him to remain in office. The confirmation of all the resignations was not immediately clear.
However, a Justice Department spokesperson on Friday stated that Trump has asked the acting US deputy attorney general Dana Boente to decline his resignation. The spokesperson said that Trump also asked Maryland US Attorney Rod Rosenstein, his pick to take over as deputy attorney general, to keep him in his position.
Bahara, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2009, has a record of pursuing an aggressive push against corruption in state and city politics and is known for his prosecution of white-collar criminal cases. He has has been overseeing a federal probe into New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's fundraising.
The Justice Department said on Friday: "Until the new US attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our US attorney's offices will continue the great work of the department in investigating, prosecuting, and deterring the most violent offenders."