Months After Firing U.S. Attorneys, Trump Nominates Replacements


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President Trump boarding Air Force One on Sunday. He has been under fire for leaving open scores of critical positions in his administration.

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Hilary Swift for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump began on Monday to nominate replacements for dozens of United States attorneys whom he fired shortly after taking office, sending eight names to the Senate for confirmation as chief federal prosecutors in their regions.

Mr. Trump purged most of the nation’s top federal prosecutors in March, demanding their immediate resignations to ensure what an administration spokeswoman at the time called “a uniform transition.”

Since then, the president has railed against Democrats in the Senate for delaying approval of his nominees — even as he failed to send names to the lawmakers for confirmation. On Twitter last week, Mr. Trump accused Democrats of “taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors.”

“They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals,” he continued.

Democrats quickly pointed out that Mr. Trump’s White House had nominated candidates for only a fraction of the hundreds of positions that require Senate approval. In the case of United States attorneys, the president did not nominate a single replacement until Monday.

Mr. Trump has been under fire for months for leaving open scores of critical positions in his administration. Critics have said that the absence of permanent, Senate-confirmed officials in leadership posts has hampered decision-making across the government.

In recent days, however, the White House has accelerated the pace of nominations. On June 7, Mr. Trump nominated 12 people to a variety of positions, including circuit court judges, district court judges and a deputy secretary of defense.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump named 17 political appointees to top leadership roles at numerous federal departments, including the Departments of Education, Justice, Transportation, Defense and Health and Human Services.

The vacancies among the 93 United States attorney offices were some of the most glaring, however.

About half of the United States attorneys serving during former President Barack Obama’s administration resigned in the days after Mr. Trump took office. On March 10, Mr. Trump fired the remaining 46, including Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for Manhattan, who had earlier been told he could stay in the job.

In a news release Monday evening, the White House announced the names of eight people whose nominations were being sent to the Senate for consideration.

“These candidates share the president’s vision for ‘Making America Safe Again,’” the White House statement said.

If confirmed, the eight lawyers would serve in five states and the District of Columbia. Most of those nominated have had experience as a federal or state prosecutor, and several have served in the United States attorney offices that they would lead. Three would serve in three of Alabama’s judicial districts; the others would lead offices in Tennessee, Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C.

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