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Biden To Name New US Attorney, Federal Judge In MI

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The chief federal prosecutor for southeast Michigan is stepping aside to allow President Joe Biden to fill the position. 

US Attorney Matthew Schneider was appointed three years ago by then-President Donald Trump. During that time, Schneider has pursued high-profile corruption cases, including convictions of UAW officials and Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.   

But Schneider says with Biden’s inauguration as the new US President, it’s time for him to move on. 

“Well, it’s commonplace for whenever there’s a new administration for the administration to get to pick whatever leaders in law enforcement that they want,” he said, “and I felt that I wanted to give the Biden administration an opportunity to do that.”

But Schneider also blasted Trump for on his way out the door commuting the sentence of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

“Mr. Kilpatrick is a notorious and unrepentant criminal who has never once showed remorse for the horrendous crimes he committed against the people of the City of Detroit,” he said. “He pillaged that city and he robbed that city and so he deserves to be held accountable for that.” 

Before being named Detroit US attorney, Schneider worked for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and for the Michigan Supreme Court. 

Saima Mohson will be the acting US Attorney after February 1st. She is a career prosecutor who could be a candidate for the Biden nomination.   

Michigan Western District US Attorney Andrew Birge said he hopes to remain in the position regardless of the change in administration. He said this in a statement released by his office:

“I love this job. I can’t imagine enjoying a job more. I intend to act as long as the court appointment lasts in pursuing the department’s priorities. I see myself as a career prosecutor and I hope to continue in my role if there’s a presidential appointee who keeps me on,” said Birge.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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