In a statement made Tuesday, February 23, Drew Wrigley said he would step down from his position effective Sunday. This is the deadline Biden has given all U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump to leave their offices. The United States’ first assistant attorney, Nick Chase, will become acting U.S. attorney until Biden’s candidate is approved by the U.S. Senate, Wrigley said.
“My heart is full of gratitude for the opportunity to serve my nation and my state as the United States’ attorney,” Wrigley said in the statement.
Wrigley worked as a US attorney in North Dakota in two positions. He was first nominated in October 2001 by former President George W. Bush. He left in September 2009 before former President Barack Obama selected Tim Purdon to replace Wrigley in 2010.
Purdon left the office in 2015 and left the office under the control of acting US attorney Chris Myers.
Trump then nominated Wrigley in April 2019.
It’s unclear who will appoint Biden to replace Wrigley, although some have suggested electing a personal injury attorney and former lawmaker Mac Schneider, a Democrat who represented Grand Forks in the North Dakota Senate from 2009-2016. Former US Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, all Democrats from North Dakota, wrote a letter asking Biden to choose tailors.
US Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven have asked Biden to let Wrigley continue his work, although this is unlikely as presidents tend to choose their own US attorneys.
“He’s served the people of North Dakota well, and I was hoping the president would take a unified path forward and honor our request to work together on the transition by keeping Drew on board while we move the next candidate through the verification process Senate lead, “Cramer said in a statement.
Cramer and Hoeven must sign Biden’s election before the next lead state attorney in North Dakota takes office.
“We are committed to a seamless transition,” said Acting Attorney General Robert “Monty” Wilkinson in a statement earlier this month.
Wrigley thanked numerous people in his statement and said he was honored to serve as a U.S. attorney. He said his staff were “dedicated, ethical officials and patriots who love our nation”.
“We shared the privilege of doing justice every day and I am so happy to serve as a colleague and leader,” said Wrigley.