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US Deputy Attorney General McNulty resigns

[JURIST] US Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty [official profile] announced Monday that he will resign from his post as second-in-line at the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] as early as the end of the summer, or when a successor receives Congressional approval. In a letter [PDF text] submitted to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, McNulty said personal reasons affected his decision: "The financial realities of college-age children and two decades of public service lead me to a long overdue transition in my career." The announcement comes amid a flurry of investigations surrounding the firings of federal prosecutors [JURIST news archive] over the last two years. At least nine former US Attorneys allege they were fired in political retaliation for investigations they were or were not conducting. Gonzales publicly accepted McNulty's resignation in a statement [text] released Monday.

In February, McNulty testified [JURIST report] before the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] that thirteen or more federal prosecutors who have been removed over the past two years were not victims of political retaliation, as some Democrats have alleged. McNulty specifically denied that the removal of former US Attorney Carol Lam [US Department of Justice profile], who prosecuted former Republican congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham [JURIST news archive], was motivated by political considerations. McNulty did admit, however, that one of the firings was conducted to allow Tom Griffin, former aide to Karl Rove, to assume the position. Gonzales has denied such allegations, maintaining the firings were necessary to replace US attorneys performing poorly on the job. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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