When a new president comes in, he usually replaces all 93 US attorneys with his own nominees. But, in what could be bad news for Rod Blagojevich, at least one high-profile US Attorney won’t be asked to step down, it looks like.
NBC News reports that Patrick Fitzgerald, the no-nonsense U.S. attorney for Chicago, will stay on under President Obama, despite being a Bush appointee.
Fitzgerald is preparing an indictment against the former Illinois governor. He also served as the special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame leak case, in which Scooter Libby was convicted of perjury.
The new administration has asked all the US the current Republican-appointed U.S. attorneys to stay on in the short term, while it decides which to retain. But it has already made a decision on Fitzgerald, it appears.
The suggestion to keep Fitz, who has been in the job since 2001, was made by Sen. Dick Durbin, who’s close to Obama. Durbin’s suggestion was “positively received,” according to DOJ officials, as well as aides to Durbin.
The decision is not unexpected, since replacing Fitzgerald while he’s in the midst of a high-profile and long-running probe of his state’s former governor, would likely have generated an outcry.