- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2020

The head of the Justice Department’s civil division will step down this week, the department announced Monday, making him the third top official to resign this month.

Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt resigned from the Justice Department, effective July 3. The move was expected because Mr. Hunt had announced his pending departure in an email to staff earlier this month.

“I have had the wonderful privilege of working alongside the many talented public servants of the Civil Division, and have witnessed firsthand their dedication and commitment to the values and principles for which this Department stands,” Mr. Hunt said in a statement.

Mr. Hunt did not say why he was leaving the department.

In addition to Mr. Hunt, two other key Justice Department officials announced their resignation this month. All three are set to step down on the same day, July 3.

Brian Benczkowski, who heads the department’s criminal division and Solicitor General Noel Francisco, also publicly announced their resignation.

A 20-year Justice Department veteran, Mr. Hunt led the division that defends the administration’s positions in court. Among his prominent cases include the decisions to stop defending the Affordable Care Act in court, the decision to add a citizenship question to the census and a handful of immigration cases.

Mr. Hunt was also part of the Justice Department’s failed lawsuit to stop President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton from publishing a tell-all book.

“Under his direction as Assistant Attorney General for these past two years, the Civil Division has vigorously defended the Administration’s most important policies and achieved many successes, from regaining billions of dollars from those who sought to defraud our government, to protecting our nation’s seniors by bringing to justice those who sought to abuse and exploit them,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Hunt served as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s chief of staff. He drafted the letter recusing Mr. Sessions from investigation into allegations of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign ahead of the 2016 election.

Mr. Hunt was a witness to the president’s anger as he learned of the ex-special counsel Robert Muller’s appointment in 2017. Notes taken by Mr. Hunt during that team were included in the Mueller report, including the dramatic moment where Mr. Trump despaired the special counsel appointment signaled “the end of my presidency.”

Mr. Hunt was confirmed in 2018 to lead the civil division and received broad bipartisan support, one of the few Trump nominees to sail through confirmation.

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