U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger resigns from position at request of Sessions

Andrew Luger, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, has resigned from his post after Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 U.S. attorneys who had been appointed under previous presidents.

In a statement, Luger called his service as an United States Attorney "the most fulfilling and rewarding experience of my professional life."

Many of the federal prosecutors who were nominated by former President Barack Obama have already left their positions, but the nearly four dozen who stayed on in the first weeks of the Trump administration have been asked to leave "in order to ensure a uniform transition," Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said.

"Until the new U.S. attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. attorney's offices will continue the great work of the department in investigating, prosecuting and deterring the most violent offenders," she said in a statement.

Former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger served in the post twice under both Bush administrations. He understands what Luger is going through. He was forced out during a mass reshuffling in 1993 when President Bill Clinton took office.

"I think the Department of Justice functions better when there's a smooth handover from one presidential appointee to another," said Heffelfinger.

Heffelfinger, who is now in private practice with the Best and Flanagan firm says Luger made quite an impact in his three years in the office. One of the highlights of his tenure was the plea deal he oversaw in the Jacob Wetterling case that helped solve the abduction that had vexed authorities for two decades.

"The Wetterling case is a great example, because it represents how Andy's experience as a prosecutor as defense lawyer allowed him to find a way to find a solution in that matter,” he said.

Senator Amy Klobuchar tweeted in support of Luger, saying he should be re-nominated for the position.

Full statement

"At the request of the Attorney General of the United States, I have submitted my resignation to the President, effective immediately. Serving the people of Minnesota as their United States Attorney has been the most fulfilling and rewarding experience of my professional life. The Office that I am leaving this evening is comprised of the most talented and motivated professionals I have ever known. The women and men of the United States Attorney's Office are deeply committed to public service. I was fortunate to work alongside them for the past three years. I also have had the honor of working with federal, state and local law enforcement on some of the most difficult and impactful cases our state has faced. All Minnesotans should know that we are protected by these highly skilled law enforcement officials. I admire them greatly.  Finally, I have had the honor of developing close working relationships and deep friendships with diverse communities across Minnesota. I am proud of our accomplishments and encourage the work to continue."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.