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Michael Sherwin. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The former acting U.S. attorney in Washington, who was under investigation over comments he made about the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, has left the Justice Department, AP reported Friday.

The big picture: Michael Sherwin suggested in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview that some of the rioters could face rarely-used charges of sedition, echoing comments he had made previously at news conferences. Days before the interview aired in March, Sherwin was replaced as the top prosecutor in Washington, according to AP.

Catch up quick: Sherwin's comments drew heat from U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who's overseeing one of the conspiracy cases stemming from the Jan. 6 riot, AP reported.

  • “These types of statements in the media have the potential to affect the jury pool and the rights of these defendants,” Mehta said, adding that further press statements by the DOJ could lead to a gag order or sanctions.

A person familiar with the matter told AP that senior Justice officials never forbade Sherwin from speaking with reporters, and had asked him to discuss the investigation at news conferences.

Between the lines: Since Sherwin is no longer employed by the DOJ, he can't be subject to disciplinary actions from the Office of Professional Responsibility, per AP.

  • It's unclear if the investigation into Sherwin's "60 Minutes" interview will continue.

Go deeper

Merrick Garland rapidly erasing Trump effect at Justice Department

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland is quickly negating the Trump administration’s law enforcement legacy, dismaying conservatives with a burst of aggressive reversals and new policies.

Why it matters: As a former prosecutor and respected federal judge, Garland's devotion to the rule of law has always been core to his identity. That reputation has taken on new importance in his first 50 days on the job, after four years of allegations that Trump's DOJ was improperly politicized.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Political consultants pocket taxpayer cash

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Members of Congress are turning to the same political consultants who got them elected to blast out taxpayer-funded communications from their government offices, records show.

Why it matters: While those members are barred from politicking with official funds, the firms have expertise in boosting elected officials' images for political gain and are in high demand for both campaign and government work.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker

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