President Joe Biden’s administration have asked U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump to resign, with the exception of two top prosecutors overseeing two sensitive Trump-era investigations.
Top Illinois leaders expressed disappointment Tuesday over the decision to terminate U.S. attorney John Lausch of the Northern District of Illinois, however, because of three high-profile corruption cases Lausch is currently prosecuting.
Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and former Chicago Alderman, said the request isn’t unusual.
“It is normal when the new administration, particularly when you switch political parties, to ask for the resignation of half or more of the U.S. attorneys,” Simpson said.
Speaking on Lausch’s unresolved cases, Simpson says, “It would be better to finish these three cases and any related cases that are in the pipeline because we would know we have the same team continuing the prosecution.
“These cases are well advanced. They’ve already had multiple court hearings in terms of procedural issues.”
Yet, Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin have expressed pushback.
Duckworth and Durbin issued a joint statement saying in part, “We believe Mr. Lausch should be permitted to continue in his position until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, and we urge the Biden Administration to allow him to do so.”
US Representatives Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood, and Mary Miller also expressed their concern saying in a statement, “U.S. Attorney Lausch is currently pursuing a historic and major public corruption investigation involving a years-long bribery scheme that has implicated former House Speaker Michael Madigan and others.”
Professor Simpson said typically, U.S. senators’ views are honored but may take some negotiations to happen.
As of now, Lausch has not yet submitted his resignation.