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Abstract

The media, the political establishment, and the federal criminal jus-community's focus on the compelling story of the firings is hardly surprising. The details emerged over a period of many months through leaks, internal Department of Justice (DOJ) emails, press releases, interviews, and dramatic congressional testimony. The media's focus on the firings obscured their deeper significance with regard to the nature of the relations between the DOJ and its ninety-three United States Attorneys' Offices (USAOs). This Article addresses this omission by looking at the consequences of these events for the balance struck between central control by Main Justice in Washington and autonomy for U.S. Attorneys in the field. The Article argues that the firings represent a departure from the historic balance of control as part of a broader effort by the DOJ to centralize operations and recapture some of the control Main Justice had lost over the past three decades.