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On Tuesday, the head of the United States Department of Justice Civil Division, Jody Hunt announced that he would resign from his post on July 3, making him the third Justice Department official to step down in the past week.
Hunt announced his resignation to his staff members in an email obtained by The New York Times. Praising their work ethic and integrity he wrote, “I have the utmost respect and admiration for you because I have personally witnessed the manner in which you have carried out your responsibilities.”
Hunt did not state the reason behind his resignation which comes on the same day he signed into a lawsuit against former national security adviser John Bolton. The lawsuit delays the publication of Bolton’s tell-all memoir that recounts his time in the White House and reportedly contains classified information damaging to President Donald Trump and his administration.
The Justice Department’s civil division is responsible for defending the administration’s policies in court. As the Justice Department’s largest litigating department, the civil division “represents the United States and its agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet Officers, and other federal employees in tens of thousands of cases," as stated in the department’s website.
As the head of civil division since August 2018, Hunt has defended several policies of the Trump administration. This includes the administration’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare), the added citizenship question to the 2020 census and the administration’s immigration policies.
The division has also defended Trump in lawsuits allege that his personal businesses have illegally profited from his time in office.
Before serving as the head of the Justice Department’s civil division, Hunt was the chief of staff to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and before that he was an employee at the civil division for 20 years.
The head of Justice Department’s criminal division Brian Benczkowski and Solicitor General Noel Franciso, are the two other Justice Department officials who announced their resignation in the past week.
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