Progressive Prosecutor Rollins Resigns as Massachusetts U.S. Attorney After Being Charged with Misconduct by DOJ

Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins speaking in San Francisco in February 2020

By The Vanguard Staff

BOSTON, MA – Rachael Rollins, a progressive prosecutor appointed by President Joe Biden as the first female Black U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, is to resign her job Friday after a Justice Department report accused her with misconduct, according to a story by NBC News.

The independent Office of Special Counsel also released its own report, concluding “Rollins violated the Hatch Act by leaking DOJ information about the district attorney candidate she opposed and attending the July 22 Democratic National Committee fundraiser in her official capacity,” said NBC.

The Hatch Act bars federal employees from using their official capacities in elections.

“Ms. Rollins’s conduct in leaking non‐public DOJ information constitutes an extraordinary abuse of her authority and threatens to erode public confidence in the integrity of federal law enforcement actions,” the report said.

NBC News noted that Rollins, “before becoming the top federal prosecutor in Boston…was the local district attorney there, where she pursued a policy not to prosecute low-level crimes, including shoplifting.” 

According to NBC news, in a 155-page report made public this week, the DOJ’s inspector general found Rollins:

  • Used her position to try to help a candidate for district attorney “in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to create the impression publicly, before the primary election, that DOJ was or would be investigating (the candidate’s opponent) for public corruption.”
  • Falsely testified about that episode under oath to federal investigators, acknowledging her role only after being confronted with text messages proving it.
  • Violated ethics rules by accepting free tickets to a Boston Celtics game.
  • Accepted political contributions to her campaign account after she was sworn in as U.S. attorney, a potential violation of the law prohibiting federal officials from engaging in partisan politics that the IG referred to the Office of Special Counsel.
  • Disregarded ethics advice and attended a July 14, 2022, Democratic Party fundraiser featuring first lady Jill Biden.

NBC News, quoting the report, said, “We believe that Rollins’s actions fell short of the standards of professionalism, judgment, and impartiality that the Department should expect of a U.S. Attorney.”

Rollins’ legal counsel noted the AG “understands that her presence has become a distraction,” and said Rollins will answer questions at a later date, said NBC News. 

“Massachusetts Democratic Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, who had pushed for Rollins to be nominated to the post, said in a joint statement that they will respect her decision to step down,” said NBC, adding the duo commented, “Rachael Rollins has for years dedicated herself to the people of Massachusetts and equal justice under the law.”

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