Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly asked dozens of U.S. attorneys who were holdovers from President Barack Obama's administration to step down.
The previous administration hired 93 federal prosecutors, and Sessions asked the 46 who remained to resign "in order to ensure a uniform transition," U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement, according to The Hill.
"As was the case in prior transitions, many of the United States attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice," the spokeswoman added.
One of the more questionable calls for resignation was the one made to Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara, who previously met with President Donald Trump and felt confident that he would remain in his position for the duration of his administration.
"While it’s true that presidents from both parties made their own choices for U.S. Attorney positions across the country, they have always done so in an orderly fashion that doesn’t put ongoing investigations at risk," Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement.
"They ask for letters of resignation but the attorneys are allowed to stay on the job until their successor is confirmed," Schumer added. "By asking for the immediate resignation of every remaining U.S. Attorney before their replacements have been confirmed or even nominated, the President is interrupting ongoing cases and investigations and hindering the administration of justice."
When news of the calls for Bharara's resignation came down, he refused to do so and called on Trump to fire him.
A showdown ultimately ensued, leading to Trump terminating Bharara, according to the now-former U.S. attorney's Twitter: "I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life."
Two anonymous White House officials told The New York Times that the promise to keep Bharara in his job under Sessions and President Trump was a "product of a chaotic transition process," as well as Trump's attempts to reach across the aisle and work with Schumer, a close friend of Bharara.
However, that working relationship never materialized due to tensions between the Trump and Schumer related to policy.
The White House officials who spoke to The New York Times said Bharara's firing was meant to continue the trend of ridding the White House of Obama holdovers, especially considering the amount of leaks that have come out of Washington since Trump's inauguration.