No hint from Sessions of impending U.S. attorney firings, source says

Justin Greene
March 16, 2017

While these words are likely comforting for many cannabis business owners - the Cole Memo is after all just a memo, which the U.S. Attorney General absolutely has the power to scrap - it is clear that Mr. Sessions' personal stance on cannabis remains toxic.

First, he said, a task force including the FBI, ATF, DEA and U.S. Marshals will be focusing on violent crime through the newly formed Department of Justice Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. Last week, he urged the nation's federal prosecutors to devote more resources to prosecuting the worst offenders, lamenting a rise in murders as federal prosecutions declined.

The Drug Policy Alliance, a group working to reform harsh drug laws, said that Sessions' comments reflect a radical departure from the DOJ's focus on counterterrorism and the prevention of cyberattacks from foreign criminals under former President Barack Obama.

The replacing of US attorneys, who represent the federal government in court and who handle criminal prosecutions of federal law, is not unusual at the start of a new administration.

Several Democratic law makers from the Richmond area will also hold a separate event to ask for Session's resignation today.

There are 93 U.S. attorneys throughout United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Another, Richard S. Hartunian of the Northern District of NY, joined the Justice Department in the 1990s.

Peter Neronha, who had served since 2009 as US attorney for Rhode Island, said even before Friday he had been preparing for his eventual departure and had written a resignation statement to be released upon his exit.

Sessions was invited by the acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia.

John Walsh, the former US attorney for the District of Colorado, told the AP, "All of these USA attorneys know they serve at the pleasure of the president".

"As a captain in the Army, a federal judicial law clerk and as a USA attorney, Ed Tarver served the American people with honor and distinction for over 20 years", Durham said in a statement. He is now serving as acting deputy attorney general pending the confirmation of Rod Rosenstein, the president's nominee for that post.

On racial disparities, Sessions said law enforcement has "to be so sensitive to those issues", but added, "When you fight crime you have to fight it where it is".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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