May 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

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

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 Liu's appointment to that post was later withdrawn after she became a focus of Trump's frustrations due in part to her decision not to indict former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.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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Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Even with early curfews in New York City and Washington, D.C., protesters are still out en masse. Some protesters in D.C. said they were galvanized by President Trump's photo op in front of St. John's Church on Monday and threat to deploy U.S. troops in the rest of country if violence isn't quelled, NBC News reports.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Trump backs off push to federalize forces against riots

Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

A day after threatening to federalize forces to snuff out riots across the country, the president appears to be backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Aides say he hasn’t ruled out its use at some point, but that he's “pleased” with the way protests were handled last night (apart from in New York City, as he indicated on Twitter today) — and that for now he's satisfied with leaving the crackdown to states through local law enforcement and the National Guard.

What we expect from our bosses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Workers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — are paying close attention to the words and actions of their employers during national crises, such as the protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Why it matters: American companies have an enormous amount of wealth and influence that they can put toward effecting change, and CEOs have the potential to fill the leadership vacuum left by government inaction. More and more rank-and-file employees expect their bosses to do something with that money and power.