U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins resigned on Wednesday amid accusations that she violated the Hatch Act, illegally leaked Department of Justice materials to news media, and lied under oath to investigators.
“We found Rollins’s conduct described throughout this report violated federal regulations, numerous DOJ policies, her Ethics Agreement, and applicable law, and fell far short of the standards of professionalism and judgment that the Department should expect of any employee, much less a U.S. Attorney,” the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General said in a report released Wednesday.
Rollins, the former Suffolk County District Attorney, said she will submit a letter of resignation to President Joe Biden, who appointed her, by the end of the week.
Rollins’ resignation follows a monthslong probe into whether Rollins violated multiple Justice Department rules and laws against federal employees using their office for personal or political ends.
The Associated Press reported in November that the Inspector General had opened an investigation into Rollins.
Media reports at the time suggested she was also being investigated for lesser ethical issues, such as using her office cellphone for personal business.
That personal business, however, turned out to be leaking sensitive information to a reporter in an effort to influence a local election.
Rollins is also alleged to have lied to investigators.
A 161-page DOJ report — “An Investigation of Alleged Misconduct by United States Attorney Rachael Rollins” — will make it hard for Rollins to find any way back into public life as an attorney.
The report shows Rollins violated the Hatch Act, tried to subvert record-keeping rules, enjoyed the life of a political quasi-celebrity, and violated numerous DOJ rules.
Rollins’ fall from grace is a blow for progressives in New England.
At her confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate, both Massachusetts Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren strongly backed Rollins.
“Rachael Rollins has for years dedicated herself to the people of Massachusetts and equal justice under the law,” Warren and Markey said in a statement Wednesday.
A rising star in left-wing politics, Rollins was among the many attorneys who rose to prominence with the help of funding from Democratic mega donor George Soros.
As part of his effort to affect the political bent of the American criminal justice system, Soros has spent millions of dollars promoting philosophically aligned attorneys into public office.
District Attorneys backed by Soros tend to share a “soft on crime” approach to enforcing the laws.
For example, one of Rollins’s first steps as DA of Suffolk County was to publish a list of 15 crimes that she was no longer going to prosecute. Local cops understood this, and laws against those crimes stopped being enforced.
The Rollins’ “non-prosecution” crimes included: Trespassing, Shoplifting, including offenses that are essentially shoplifting, but charged as larceny, Larceny under $250, Disorderly conduct, Disturbing the peace, Receiving stolen property, Minor driving offenses, including operating with a suspended or revoked license, Breaking and entering, where it is into a vacant property or is for the purpose of sleeping or seeking refuge from the cold and there is no actual damage to property, Wanton or malicious destruction of property, Threats (excluding domestic violence), Minors in possession of alcohol, Drug possession, Drug possession with intent to distribute, and Resisting arrest.
Notably, several of these crimes are currently the subject of debate in Maine over whether the state should follow the Rachael Rollins approach to criminal justice.
In Cumberland County, District Attorney Jackie Sartoris won her Democratic primary last year with the help of $300,000 from Soros.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who opposed Rollins confirmation, reacted predictably to the news: