Politics

Trump ‘Insults’ District Residents With Unilateral Court Picks, D.C. Delegate Says

Trump administration wants to nominate D.C. prosecutor to supervisory position

Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said Monday that the Trump administration has bypassed her on selections of federal law enforcement officials serving the district. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The District of Columbia’s congressional delegate took the Trump administration to task Monday for “refusing to consult with her” on the nominations of a series of federal law enforcement officials who would serve the district.

“The Trump administration continues to ignore the voice and input of D.C. residents when selecting federal officials to serve them,” Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a press release.

Norton, a Democrat, said the announcement last week that the administration would nominate a Washington, D.C., prosecutor for a six-year term directing the district’s Court Services and Offender Supervision agency was “particularly insulting,” because the agency’s only role is the supervision of offenders convicted under D.C. law.

The Trump administration’s pick, Richard S. Tischner, of Virginia, is an assistant U.S. Attorney and the chief of the Superior Court Division at the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, positions which require him to oversee the prosecution of both federal and local crimes committed within the district.

White House representatives did not return requests for comment Monday. 

Presidents Obama and Clinton granted Norton senatorial courtesy to recommend federal district judges, the U.S. attorney and other federal law enforcement officials to serve the district. Both nominated all her selections, she said. 

George W. Bush also consulted Norton on nominations, she said. Trump, by contrast, has not provided her any role in the process. 

Norton’s complaint comes as GOP members of Congress attempt to pass a series of policy riders and amendments to the fiscal 2019 D.C. appropriations bill aimed at undermining local control over traditionally liberal issues, including the commercialization of recreational marijuana, access to abortions for low-income women and assisted suicide. The bill would also repeal the city’s 2012 budget autonomy act, which removes the city’s local funds from the congressional approval process. 

Norton was scheduled to testify against those measures at a House Rules Committee markup Monday. 

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