WASHINGTON (CN) – Facing opposition from fellow Republicans over her work with the National Association of Women Lawyers , the head prosecutor in Washington withdrew herself from consideration for a top Justice Department position.
Though President Donald Trump had yet to formally nominate her, U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu was the prosecutor Trump named in March for his pick to serve as associate attorney general. The job is the No. 3 position in the Justice Department, directly overseeing agency divisions that handle civil rights, environmental and other types of litigation.
After the Justice Department confirmed Thursday that Liu had pulled out of the running for the job, multiple reports emerged suggesting that she faced opposition from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senator Mike Lee, a committee Republican from Utah who is said to have been at the head of that faction, opposed to Liu’s nomination “due to questions about her record on life issues,” Lee’s spokesman Conn Carroll said Friday.
More than a decade ago, Liu belonged to the National Association of Women Lawyers, which filed legal briefs in support of abortion rights and opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito, a conservative justice.
Attorney General William Barr announced Thursday he will appoint Liu as chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys.
“Jessie will be an integral part of our leadership at the department,” Barr said in a statement. “We will all benefit from her universally regarded expertise and dedication to public service.”