Yet another official from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced he will be stepping down, marking the third such revelation in recent days.
According to the Washington Examiner, Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt, head of the department’s Civil Division, has tendered his resignation effective July 3.
Hunt now joins Brian Benczkowski — the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division — and Solicitor General Noel Francisco, both of whom have also recently confirmed plans to depart from the Trump administration.
“They can see the writing on the wall”
The president’s detractors are using the announcements to suggest these high-ranking officials have lost faith in Trump’s leadership and his ability to be re-elected in November.
“Now three senior DOJ officials quitting in the last week, deep into an election year,” Matthew Miller, who served as a Justice Department spokesperson during the Obama administration, said, according to the Examiner. “They can all see the writing on the wall.”
A specific reason for Hunt’s resignation was not immediately clear, but it came a short time after his name appeared in a recent lawsuit against former National Security Adviser John Bolton aimed at halting the publication of his forthcoming tell-all memoir.
Hunt also figured into the investigation of former special counsel Robert Mueller, serving as a source of several central details thanks to his habit of taking copious notes during meetings.
“The worst thing that ever happened to me”
“Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels, it ruins your presidency,” Trump said upon learning of Mueller’s appointment, according to Hunt’s notes, which were shared by Rollcall. “It takes years and years, and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
An important figure within the Justice Department and the Trump administration, his departure just months before Election Day could prove damaging to the president’s re-election campaign.
“I have the utmost respect and admiration for you because I have personally witnessed the manner in which you have carried out your responsibilities,” Hunt wrote in his resignation letter to colleagues, according to the Examiner. “And you are, after all, the greatest litigation force on earth!”
As of this writing, the White House has not commented on the latest Justice Department exit.
Some pundits will see these resignations as a roadblock in Trump’s path to a second term. As his supporters would argue, however, his 2016 win proves an ability to defy expectations when it really matters.