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Rachael Rollins and Marty Walsh. Photos: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images (Rollins); Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images (Walsh)

A finalist for U.S. attorney in Boston is publicly trashing the city's former mayor — Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.

Why it matters: Rachael Rollins’ approach is perpetuating scrutiny of a troubled Cabinet secretary and fellow Democrat — and hints at the independence she may exhibit if tapped for top federal prosecutor for Massachusetts.

  • It’s also testing the Biden communications shop’s tight-ship, no-drama approach, and would provide fuel for Republican questioning in a prospective Senate confirmation hearing.

Driving the news: Rollins, district attorney of Boston-based Suffolk County, has repeatedly complained about Walsh distancing himself from a scandal that emerged just before he started working in Washington.

  • In a last-minute move, the outgoing mayor named Dennis White to be the city's new police commissioner.
  • Two days later, Walsh suspended White after The Boston Globe reported he had faced domestic violence allegations from his ex-wife.
  • Walsh's replacement, acting mayor Kim Janey, fired White, but he sued to retain his job.
  • An independent report and subsequent court proceedings included sworn affidavits stating Walsh knew about White's past before putting him in the new job — something Walsh has denied in statements to the media.

What they're saying: “Somebody signed something under the pains and penalties of perjury. For me that has to trump … somebody just saying, ‘Yeah, that never happened,’” Rollins told "Boston Public Radio" last month.

  • "I think our former mayor left a very big mess for our acting mayor," she added.
  • Another Democrat, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), said Walsh should resign if he knew about the White accusations.

In an interview that aired Sunday, Rollins went further.

  • “This is a bad situation overall, because either he knew about it and he’s lying, or he didn’t know about it and you’re a terrible manager, right?” the DA told WCVB-TV’s “On the Record."
  • Rollins also confirmed she is one of three finalists for U.S. attorney.

The statements renewed a stir in Boston's political community, in part because Rollins would be teammates with Walsh if she joins the Biden administration.

  • Administration nominees tend to remain silent while being vetted.
  • Rollins has now engaged in two high-profile interviews, the second coming after the first renewed scrutiny of Walsh.

The White House declined to comment.

  • Rollins said Tuesday in a tweet: "This unforced error has cost our City millions & counting. As taxpayers, we foot the bill. It has distracted attention away from the hard work BPD does in our communities every day. Being silent & meek isn’t in my job description. We have murders to solve."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that the U.S. attorney covers the entire state, not just the eastern half of Massachusetts.

Go deeper

2 wildfires ravage Northern California homes as thousands evacuate

Firefighters monitoring the scene as flames from the Dixie Fire jump across highway 89 near Greenville, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the town of Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County Wednesday night. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Team USA's Ryan Crouser competing on Thursday in the men's Olympic shot put final in Tokyo, which he won. Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images

🥇: Ryan Crouser breaks his own Olympic shot put record to win gold for U.S.

🏐: U.S. Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Landlords mount legal challenge to Biden admin's new eviction moratorium

President Biden at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A group of landlords and real-estate companies issued a legal challenge on Wednesday night in a D.C. district court to the Biden administration's new national eviction moratorium.

Driving the news: The Alabama and Georgia Associations of Realtors' emergency motion argues that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's order Tuesday barring evictions for most of the U.S. through Oct. 3 exceeds the CDC's powers, according to a statement from the National Association of Realtors.