A Democratic Senator said on Tuesday he wants answers from top Justice Department officials about why a career prosecutor was asked to resign days before a special counsel unveiled the first criminal charges in an investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election.
Dana Boente was asked to quit in late October as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, whose district has played an important role in the investigation.
Just days later, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators charged President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and another aide, Rick Gates, with conspiring to launder money and other charges.
It was also announced on Oct. 30 that a third former Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos, had pleaded guilty earlier in the month to a charge of lying to the FBI.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was writing to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to ask if Boente's departure was "normal or justified."
"I'm concerned about the abrupt departure of Dana Boente after a career as a federal prosecutor ... There's a lot of circumstances that connect the ongoing Mueller investigation to the Eastern District," Coons said in an interview.