Updated Feb 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump pulls nomination for former U.S. attorney for D.C. to Treasury post

Jessie Liu
Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump is withdrawing his nomination for former U.S. attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a top position overseeing economic sanctions, according to two sources with direct knowledge.

The big picture: Liu was confirmed in September 2017 to lead the largest U.S. attorney's office in the country, overseeing a number of politically charged prosecutions that included the case against Trump associates Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and other spinoffs from the Mueller investigation.

  • Liu stepped down from the U.S. attorney's office last month after Trump announced his intention to nominate her to the Treasury position in December 2019.
  • Liu was expected to stay in her position through her confirmation — with a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee scheduled for this Thursday — but was unexpectedly informed last month that Attorney General Bill Barr was replacing her with his close adviser Timothy Shea.
  • She was informed that Trump was pulling her nomination Tuesday afternoon.

Behind the scenes: This was "the president's call," according to a former administration official familiar with the situation. The decision, which was made today, has administration officials questioning the circumstances that led to Trump changing his mind — with the developments in the Roger Stone case today being the only new information they are aware of.

  • Four career prosecutors from the D.C. attorney's office withdrew from the Stone case after the Justice Department overruled them on a sentencing recommendation.
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