BOSTON — The U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Rachael Rollins, will resign after a lengthy Justice Department ethics investigation into her appearance at a political fundraiser and other matters.
The Justice Department’s inspector general hasn’t released the final report. But an attorney for Rollins said on Tuesday that she intended to submit her letter of resignation to President Joe Biden by the close of business Friday.
“She is optimistic that the important work she started will continue but understands that her presence has become a distraction,” Rollins’ attorney, former Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich, said in a statement. “The work of the office and the Department of Justice is far too important to be overshadowed by anything else.”
The Associated Press reported earlier that Rollins would resign. A Justice Department spokesperson had no immediate comment, and a spokesperson for the department’s inspector general did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Rollins began to face scrutiny 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 Associated Press reported in November that 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. She previously was district attorney for Boston and a trio of surrounding communities.
Rollins’ progressive approach to law enforcement caught the eye of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who recommended her to be the state’s top federal prosecutor. But Republicans tried to block Rollins’ ascension over her decline-to-prosecute list of 15 low-level crimes. Vice President Kamala Harris twice had to 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.”
Josh Gerstein and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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