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Rachael Rollins, Massachusetts U.S. Attorney, Quits Amid Ethics Probe

Rachael Rollins, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, will resign after a Justice Department ethics investigation into her appearance at a political fundraiser and other matters. An attorney for Rollins said Rollins intended to submit her letter of resignation to President Biden this week, Politico reports. “She is optimistic that the important work she started will continue but understands that her presence has become a distraction,” said Rollins’ attorney, former Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich. “The work of the office and the Department of Justice is far too important to be overshadowed by anything else.” The scrutiny of Rollins started after she appeared at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at a Massachusetts home last July that featured first lady Jill Biden. She defended herself at the time, tweeting that she “had approval to meet Dr. Biden & left early” to speak at two community events. The inspector general’s office had launched an investigation into Rollins’ attendance at the fundraiser, a probe that expanded to other areas, including the use of her personal phone for business.

Rollins was sworn in as the first Black woman to serve as U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts in January 2022. Previously the district attorney in for Boston, her progressive approach to law enforcement attracted Massachusetts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, who recommended her to be the state’s top federal prosecutor. However, Republicans tried to block Rollins’ ascension over her decline-to-prosecute list of 15 low-level crimes. Vice President Kamala Harris twice cast tie-breaking votes to keep her nomination moving forward. Warren and Markey issued a statement after the announcement of her impending resignation: “Rachael Rollins has for years dedicated herself to the people of Massachusetts and equal justice under the law. We will respect her decision.”

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