President Biden came under fire from bipartisan Illinois lawmakers, Thursday, after he fired a prosecutor overseeing corruption probes of Democrats in the state.
Democrat Senators, House members, and the Illinois Republican Party all condemned the move to fire Chicago-based U.S. Attorney John Lausch.
US Attorney’s are typically appointed by presidents at the beginning of a new administration. Frequently, new presidents will ask for the resignations of almost all US attorneys placed by the previous administration. Lausch, however, had rare bipartisan support.
Democratic Senators, Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, released a joint statement Thursday saying that hadn’t been consulted in Lausch’s firing and urged the administration not to terminate him immediate.
The Statement to President Biden read:
“While we agree with the Biden administration’s criminal justice agenda, we are disappointed with the decision to terminate U.S. Attorney Lausch without consulting us. In 2017, our nonpartisan screening committee gave its support for Mr. Lausch to serve in this position, and the Senate confirmed him unanimously,” they wrote.
“While the president has the right to remove U.S. attorneys, there is precedent for U.S. attorneys in the Northern District of Illinois to remain in office to conclude sensitive investigations. 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.”
Additionally, four Illinois House GOP members issued a statement saying it was “reckless and irresponsible” to terminate Lausch before a successor is confirmed.
“There is precedent for allowing a U.S. attorney to remain in office until successors are confirmed, and we strongly believe both should be allowed to do so,” the Republicans said.
The new chair of the Republican Party of Illinois, Don Tracy, accused Biden of putting politics and personal agenda’s above justice.
“Joe Biden cares more about settling scores with Trump than he does standing up for the people of Illinois who desperately want a government that works for them — not for politicians. If Mike Madigan faces no consequences for his party’s corruption, he can now thank Joe Biden for protection,” said Tracy.
Fox News reported:
Lausch is supervising a public corruption investigation into ComEd, after federal prosecutors last year said the utility company admitted to providing jobs or contracts “for various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois.”
Bribery charges were leveled against ComEd and four members of the inner circle of then-Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. Madigan, ousted as speaker, remains chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois. The ComEd case implicated Madigan, but he has not yet been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.