- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey’s top federal prosecutor announced his resignation Friday after the Trump administration requested the resignations of 46 United States attorneys appointed during the prior presidential administration.

Paul Fishman said that leading the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey after being appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 has been the greatest professional experience he could imagine.

“Having spent so much of my career working to protect the interests of the people of New Jersey, I can think of no greater form of public service,” Fishman said in a statement. “I am enormously grateful for the opportunity I was given to lead the men and women who work in this office. They are the most extraordinary group of public servants I have ever known, and I am more than honored to have been their colleague.”

The Justice Department said the request was similar to ones made in past presidential transitions. The department said many federal prosecutors appointed in the Obama administration have already left, but that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is now seeking the resignations of 46 holdovers. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.

For Fishman, the resignation comes only days before the sentencings of two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case. It was perhaps the highest profile case in his more than seven years in office.

Fishman’s roots in the public sector stretch back to the summer of 1980 when he interned in the same office he would eventually lead. After graduating from Harvard Law School, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review, he joined the office in Newark as an assistant U.S. attorney in 1983 and by 1989 headed its criminal division, supervising 30 attorneys.

As is common for many assistant U.S. attorneys, Fishman switched to the private sector, where he spent more than a decade defending white-collar clients, often against the Christie-led U.S. attorney’s office in Newark.

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