Maine’s top federal prosecutor has been asked to resign at the end of the month as the Biden administration replaces most U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump.

U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank Submitted photo

U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank has been the top ranking federal law enforcement officer in Maine since 2017. He came to the job with nearly 30 years of experience as an assistant U.S. attorney, including 17 in the Maine office. Frank confirmed Tuesday that acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson asked for those resignations effective Feb. 28, but said he was not inclined to discuss the matter in more detail until then.

The move is routine when administrations change. Frank’s predecessor was Thomas Delahanty II, who was among the Obama appointees asked to resign after Trump took office.

“We are committed to ensuring a seamless transition,” acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson said in a news release Tuesday. “Until U.S. Attorney nominees are confirmed, the interim and acting leaders in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will make sure that the department continues to accomplish its critical law enforcement mission, vigorously defend the rule of law and pursue the fair and impartial administration of justice for all.”

Attorney David Beneman, the longtime federal public defender in Maine, said he has handled many cases with Frank over the years. He added that he would look forward to working with whomever the president appoints to fill the position.

“It has been my pleasure to work with U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank during his term as U.S. Attorney and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney,” Beneman wrote in an email. “We have handled many cases together. While we may not always agree, he has always been open to discussion, of even temperament and highly professional.”


U.S. Sen. Susan Collins spoke highly of Frank when she announced his nomination to the post nearly four years ago. As the senior Republican member of Maine’s congressional delegation, Collins advised the Trump administration on candidates for open federal positions in the state.

On Tuesday, she said Frank served with “the utmost professionalism and integrity.”

“A highly skilled and intelligent attorney with more than 30 years of experience at the Department of Justice, Halsey worked tirelessly to enforce federal laws and seek justice for victims,” Collins said in a written statement. “From prosecuting scammers who robbed seniors of their hard-earned savings to fighting the opioid and drug abuse epidemic, Halsey’s efforts helped to keep Mainers safe. He also made a number of contributions to improve the office, such as authoring a guide to crisis management for U.S. Attorneys, improving communication with local District Attorneys and the Maine Attorney General, and chairing a working group that made recommendations to help prevent school violence. Our state is grateful for his distinguished public service.”

The 93 U.S. Attorneys are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. They oversee federal prosecutors and represent the government in civil litigation. Some have already resigned, and the Justice Department said one-third of the offices are currently under acting or interim leadership. CNN first reported that the decision would apply to 56 attorneys.

The Associated Press reported that two Trump nominees who are handling politically sensitive matters will keep their roles in some capacity. The U.S. Attorney in Delaware, who is overseeing a federal tax probe involving Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, will remain in his position. The U.S. Attorney in Connecticut is expected to resign from that role but will stay on as special counsel in the Trump-Russia probe.

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