OKLAHOMA CITY – Timothy J. Downing, United States attorney for the western district of Oklahoma, announced in a press release Tuesday that he had submitted his resignation to President Biden effective February 28 at 11:59 pm.
United States’ first assistant attorney, Robert J. Troester, becomes the acting United States attorney under the Job Listing Reform Act.
“Bob has run this office for three previous interim periods, he’s done an incredible job as my first assistant, and there’s no one better to make this transition,” said Downing. “I will continue to do my best for this office until the last second on the job, and I pledge to pray and have full confidence, under the guidance of those who follow me, for the future success of this office.”
Downing was sworn into office on June 5, 2019 after being appointed by President Trump and ratified by the United States Senate.
As a United States attorney, Downing served as the chief federal law enforcement officer in the western district of Oklahoma. In that capacity, he was responsible for all federal law enforcement and civil litigations involving the United States in the district. The western district of Oklahoma is the largest of three jurisdictions in Oklahoma and includes 40 of the 77 counties.
The Justice Department will urge U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump to step down while the Biden administration moves on to its own candidates, a senior Justice Department official told CNN Monday.
It is common for US attorneys to leave their positions after a new president takes office, but the exits are not automatic and not necessarily all at once. In 2017, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for the resignation of 46 U.S. attorneys held back by the Obama administration.
The US attorneys are available to the President and are usually appointed on the recommendation of a home state senator. The 93 U.S. attorneys are responsible for overseeing federal attorneys’ offices and prosecuting federal crimes in their jurisdictions.
Downing said he would announce his future plans at a later date.