United States Attorney Matthew Schneider Resigns
DETROIT – United States Attorney Matthew Schneider submitted his resignation letter to President Biden yesterday shortly after the President was sworn into office. Schneider’s last day as the United States Attorney will be February 1, 2021. After his resignation, he will immediately join a private law firm based in Detroit.
“It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve the people of Eastern Michigan, alongside the incredibly hard-working team at the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Schneider said. “In the last three years, this team has overcome tremendous challenges, from the longest federal government shutdown in American history, to an enormous rise in violent crime, the greatest increase in civil unrest since 1967, and a global pandemic. Through it all, the lawyers and support staff of this office have faithfully enforced the law, supported our law enforcement partners, and protected our fellow citizens, and I could not be more proud of the work that they have accomplished.”
Schneider continued: “I’m extremely pleased to leave this office in the hands of one of the finest federal prosecutors I’ve ever known, Saima Mohsin. Saima is a dynamic trial lawyer and a talented manager. And, as the first woman, immigrant, Muslim United States Attorney in American history, her service is truly historic. Saima will be an outstanding representative and defender of our community as the Acting United States Attorney.”
Saima Mohsin will immediately assume office as Acting United States Attorney, as provided for under the Vacancies Reform Act. Mohsin has served as the First Assistant United States Attorney—a non-political position— since March 2018. She is a career prosecutor, having served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2002, and prior to that as a Deputy New Jersey Attorney General and an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan.
Mohsin stated, “It is a great honor to serve the citizens of the Eastern District of Michigan as Acting United States Attorney. I am deeply committed to fulfilling our core mission to faithfully enforce the law and seek justice for all.”
Schneider has served as the chief federal law enforcement official in Eastern Michigan since Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed him on January 5, 2018. In May 2018, the judges of the United States District Court voted to continue his term in office. In January 2, 2019, following his nomination by President Trump, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment.
While in office, Schneider hired more than 100 federal employees and contractors, including approximately 40 Assistant United States Attorneys, which is around one-third of the office’s attorneys. Approximately 70 percent of those new employees have been women. Schneider said, “We’ve been incredibly successful in the last three years in hiring outstanding public servants, and at the same time we’ve advanced and strengthed the role of women in the legal profession.”
During Schneider’s tenure, the office investigated and prosecuted several high-profile civil and criminal cases, including:
● The filing of an anti-corruption and anti-fraud civil lawsuit against the UAW, and a proposed consensual resolution to bring independent oversight to the union and eliminate corruption among its leadership;
● The largest investigation and prosecution of corrupt auto company executives and UAW officials in American history, which has thus far led to the convictions of 15 persons for fraud and corruption crimes, including two UAW International Presidents;
● The busiest docket of public corruption cases in the United States, including fraud, bribery, and pay-to-play schemes centering around corrupt public officials in Macomb County;
● Obstruction of justice charges against Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith for attempting to get a friend and two assistant prosecutors to make false statements to federal law enforcement officers and a federal Grand Jury;
● In coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan, the investigation of six men who have been charged federally with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer;
● The country’s first indictment of a U.S. citizen who was arrested on a battlefield in Syria while fighting in support of ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization;
● The largest civil settlement in American history arising out of unlawful drug diversion in a major health system, resulting in a $7.75 million settlement payment by McLaren Health Care Corporation; and
● The trial, conviction, and life sentence of a Canadian man who stabbed and attempted to kill a Flint Bishop Airport police officer in an act of violent jihad inspired by the ideology of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
In April 2020, Attorney General William Barr named Schneider to lead a nationwide effort to review state and local policies to ensure that civil liberties remain protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. That effort resulted in dozens of court victories and policy reforms across the country to preserve Americans’ civil rights, including their right to worship and their right to be free from arbitrary, irrational state restrictions.
On May 29, 2020, upon the Justice Department’s filing of a Statement of Interest in a case challenging Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic-related orders, Schneider stated, “As important as it is that we stay safe during these challenging times, it is also important to remember that we do not abandon our freedoms and our dedication to the rule of law in times of emergency.”
Schneider, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University’s James Madison College, had previously served as: Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Michigan; Chief Legal Counsel for the Michigan Department of Attorney General; Chief of Staff and General Counsel for the Michigan Supreme Court; an Assistant United States Attorney; Senior Advisor and Assistant General Counsel in the White House Budget Office; and an attorney in private practice.