May 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump names new prosecutor to lead DOJ office that worked on Flynn and Stone cases

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House announced Monday that President Trump will nominate Justin Herdman, currently the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, to serve as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

Why it matters: The U.S. attorney's office in D.C. has overseen some of the most politically charged cases in the country in recent years, including the prosecutions of Trump associates Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and other spinoffs from the Mueller investigation.

Between the lines: In January, Timothy Shea, a close confidante of Attorney General Bill Barr, was tapped to temporarily lead the office after Jessie Liu stepped down earlier this year to take a top position at the Treasury Department. Liu's appointment to that post was later withdrawn after she became a focus of Trump's frustrations due in part to her decision not to indict former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

  • Shea has since drawn controversy for his interventions in the prosecutions of Stone and Flynn.
  • In February, Shea submitted a sentencing memo in the Stone case that overruled career prosecutors who had recommended the former Trump adviser serve seven to nine years in prison for lying to Congress and obstructing justice. All four prosecutors withdrew from the case in protest.
  • Earlier this month, Shea was the sole signatory of the Justice Department's motion to dismiss charges against Flynn due to alleged prosecutorial misconduct.

The big picture: Shea, whose tenure was limited to 120 days, will become acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, CNN first reported and an administration official confirmed to Axios.

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