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Prosecutor under fire for court filings benefiting Trump allies Roger Stone and Michael Flynn will become DEA chief, report says

  • May 18, 2020

The top federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. — who recently signed court filings that benefited felons who are allies of President Donald Trump — will become acting boss of the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to an NBC News report that cited senior law enforcement officials.

Tim Shea, the interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, is set to be replaced by Justin Herdman, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, according to an announcement Monday by Trump of Herdman’s planned nomination.

The president did not say whether Shea would be taking the DEA job. 

However, according to senior law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News, Shea will replace acting DEA Administrator Uttam Dhillon. Dhillon will take a high-level Justice Department post, the officials also told NBC. Dhillon has served as the DEA’s acting administrator since July 2018.

The White House declined to comment on NBC’s report. A Justice Department spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is one of the most prominent federal prosecutor posts in the United States. The office often handles politically sensitive cases and other high-profile matters because of its jurisdiction, which is home to the seats of the federal government.

Shea is a former top advisor to Attorney General William Barr. He has been in the interim D.C. prosecutor’s job only since late January. Less than two weeks after taking that post, Shea sparked controversy by overruling prosecutors in the case of Trump friend Roger Stone.

Shea, in a court filing, recommended a lower criminal sentence for the longtime Republican operative Stone than the one that had been first suggested by the case’s trial prosecutors, who had asked that he be sent to prison for up to nine years. Shea’s reversal of the recommendation, which was highly unusual, if not unprecedented, came after Trump criticized the call for a stiff prison sentence for Stone.

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