WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department’s inspector general has opened an investigation of the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, prompted by US Attorney Rachael Rollins’ appearance at a political fundraiser featuring first lady Jill Biden, The Associated Press has learned.
An investigation by the department’s internal watchdog targeting one of the nation’s 93 US attorneys — political appointees who are some of the highest-ranking federal law enforcement officials — is highly unusual. The ethics concerns surrounding Rollins threaten to undermine Attorney General Merrick Garland’s efforts to restore the Justice Department’s reputation for political independence after tumultuous years under Republican President Donald Trump.
The inspector general’s office is focusing on Rollins’ attendance at the Democratic National Committee event in July as well as her use of her personal cellphone to conduct official business, according to two people briefed on the investigation, which has been ongoing for weeks.
Also being examined is a trip that Rollins took to California that was paid for by an outside group, they said. They were not authorized to publicly discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Anthony Coley, the department’s chief spokesman, declined to comment and referred all questions to the inspector general’s office. A spokeswoman for the