‘Maybe he’s not telling the truth. He’s been known not to tell the truth, a lot…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Almost immediately after his name appeared in the Justice Department’s lawsuit against former national security adviser John Bolton, Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt announced his resignation.
NEW: Jody Hunt, the head of DOJ’s Civil Division, announced to employees this evening that he’s stepping down, effective July 3. I reviewed the email to Civil Division staff, which doesn’t say why he’s leaving now, just that he’d advised Trump today of his decision.
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) June 16, 2020
Hunt, who was confirmed as head of the DOJ’s Civil Division in August 2018, announced in an email to his employees that he’d step aside on July 3.
He has helped the Trump administration fend off a litany of legal challenges and was part of the DOJ’s recent lawsuit against Bolton. The suit alleges that Bolton breached his nondisclosure agreements by disclosing classified material in his upcoming memoir.
The Civil Division office essentially serves as the government’s law firm, according to the DOJ’s website.
It “represents the United States and its agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet Officers, and other federal employees in tens of thousands of cases. In total, the Civil Division litigates matters on behalf of over 100 different federal agencies.”
Hunt’s decision to step down from this office is being seen by some as an attempt to steer clear of the Trump administration, especially if rumors of Bolton’s accusations prove true:
Now three senior DOJ officials quitting in the last week, deep into an election year. They can all see the writing on the wall. https://t.co/6slyLicvmS
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) June 16, 2020
Trump, however, said he is not concerned about Bolton or his book.
“Maybe he’s not telling the truth,” Trump said Monday when asked about the memoir. “He’s been known not to tell the truth, a lot.”
Prior to taking the position, Hunt was chief of staff for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. However, Sessions split acrimoniously with the president over his decision to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion, thereby turning it over to the less-than-reliable Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Sessions is currently in a race in Alabama to regain his old Senate seat from his Democrat successor, Doug Jones, although he faces an intra-party challenge from former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, to whom Trump has thrown his support.