Maine’s Delahanty among 46 Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys ousted by Trump

Posted March 10, 2017, at 5:45 p.m.
Last modified March 10, 2017, at 7:02 p.m.

Maine’s Thomas Delahanty is among the remaining chief federal prosecutors appointed by former President Barack Obama who were asked to resign by President Donald Trump’s U.S. Justice Department on Friday.

The Justice Department said Friday that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked the Obama appointees who have not already resigned to do so “in order to ensure a uniform transition.”

Delahanty was confirmed as U.S. attorney in 2010, which began his second stint in the office; he also held the position for just over 14 months during the administration of former President Jimmy Carter. Between those stints, he was a Maine Superior Court justice.

He wasn’t in his Portland office on Friday afternoon, but Jonathan Chapman, an assistant U.S. attorney for Maine, said the office had just been informed that Delahanty will leave the position effective Saturday.

Chapman said staff in Maine haven’t been told who will lead the office until a new chief prosecutor is named, but he was “confident” that officials would know by Monday.

The Justice Department’s statement said, “Until the new U.S. attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. attorney’s offices will continue the great work of the department in investigating, prosecuting and deterring the most violent offenders.”

U.S. attorneys are political appointees, and the request from Trump’s Justice Department is part of a routine process. Not every new administration replaces all U.S. attorneys at once.

Sessions’ request for resignations included Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whom Trump had asked in November to stay on.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed the resignation requests applied to Bharara. However, it was not immediately clear if all resignations would ultimately be accepted.

Bharara was unsure where he stood because he did not know if the person who contacted him was aware that Trump had asked him to remain in office, according a source familiar with the matter. Bharara’s office handles some of the most critical business and criminal cases passing through the federal judicial system.

BDN writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

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