Jessie Liu, the former US attorney for the District of Columbia, had her nomination for a senior Treasury Department role abruptly withdrawn amid controversy over cases linked to Robert Mueller's investigation, insiders say. Liu, who was nominated by President Trump in December for a position overseeing economic sanctions, was informed Tuesday that the nomination was being pulled, sources tell Axios. Liu was confirmed to lead the DC office in Sept. 2017 after she was vetted by White House lawyers. Her office oversaw prosecutions including those against Trump associates Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone, whose case caused four career prosecutors to step down Tuesday after the Justice Department said their sentencing recommendation would be reduced.
Sources tell the Washington Post that GOP Senate staffer Barbara Ledeen lobbied Trump against Liu's nomination because she was unhappy about Flynn's prosecution, but made little headway until the initial Stone sentencing recommendation angered the president. Liu, who left the DC attorney's office at the end of January, was due to appear before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing Thursday. Axios notes that she had been expected to stay in her position leading the DC US attorney's office until she was confirmed in the Treasury role, but she was informed last month that Attorney General William Barr was replacing her with his associate Timothy Shea. The Post's sources say Trump decided to withdraw Liu's nomination because he was worried she would be asked about the Stone case during her confirmation hearing. (Read more Treasury Department stories.)