Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams, a Trump-appointee who prosecuted more Antifa suspects than any other, is among many federal prosecutors who will resign from their positions at the behest of the Biden administration.
Williams, 64, was officially appointed to the job by former President Donald Trump in 2017 after holding it in an acting and interim capacity since 2015, when he replaced former U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall, who resigned during a sexual harassment investigation.
Last week, he reported that Portland’s summer of rioting had caused at least $2.3 million to a handful of federal buildings in the city alone.
Billy Williams the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon speaks during a press conference January 27, 2016 at the Harney County Chamber of Commercein Burns, Oregon. (ROB KERR/AFP via Getty Images)
Williams’ office had filed the most domestic terrorism cases out of any U.S. attorney’s office in the country in 2020, the Oregonian reported. Most of them were in connection with more than two months of protests outside the city’s Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse.
The nightly standoffs with police involved graffiti, broken windows and firecrackers, as well as Molotov cocktails.
Although the riots stemmed out of protests against the Trump administration, police brutality and racial injustice, they continued even after President Biden took office on Jan. 20. Antifa marchers blasted the new president and new anti-Biden graffiti emerged.
Other recent cases led by his office included the prosecution of a man who sent threatening cards and white powder to former co-workers and a fraud case against a former Nike marketing manager.
He’s not the only Trump-appointed federal prosecutor that the Biden administration has asked to step down, although a bipartisan group of senators had initially supported Williams for the job.
The Justice Department on Tuesday asked most U.S. attorneys appointed by Trump to resign – although the prosecutor overseeing a federal tax probe involving the president’s son, Hunter Biden, will remain on the job at the request of acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson.
U.S. Attorney John Durham, who former Attorney General Bill Barr appointed to investigate the Trump-Russia probe in October, will also stay on in that capacity while being asked to step down from his role as U.S. attorney in Connecticut.
Historically, it’s not unusual for federal prosecutors to leave their positions when a new president takes office.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.