Drew Wrigley submits official resignation as U.S. attorney in North Dakota

His tenure ends Sunday, the deadline President Joe Biden gave him to leave.

US Attorney Wrigley (1).jpg
Drew Wrigley

FARGO — The U.S. attorney in North Dakota has submitted his official resignation to President Joe Biden.

In a Tuesday, Feb. 23, statement, Drew Wrigley said he would step down from the position effective Sunday. That’s the deadline Biden gave all U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Donald Trump to leave their offices. First Assistant United States Attorney Nick Chase will become acting U.S. attorney until Biden's nominee is approved by the U.S. Senate, Wrigley said.

"My heart is full of gratitude for having had the opportunity to serve my nation and state as United States Attorney," Wrigley said in the statement.

Wrigley served as U.S. attorney in North Dakota in two stints. He was first nominated in October 2001 by former President George W. Bush. He left in September 2009 ahead of former President Barack Obama choosing Tim Purdon in 2010 as Wrigley’s replacement.

Purdon left in 2015, leaving the office in control of acting U.S. Attorney Chris Myers.


Trump then nominated Wrigley in April 2019.

It’s unclear who Biden will appoint to replace Wrigley, though some have suggested personal injury attorney and former state legislator Mac Schneider, a Democrat who represented Grand Forks in the North Dakota Senate from 2009 to 2016. Former U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, all Democrats from North Dakota, urged Biden in a letter to pick Schneider.

U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven have asked Biden to let Wrigley continue his work, though that is unlikely since presidents tend to choose their own U.S. attorneys.

"He has served the people of North Dakota well, and I was hoping the president would choose a unifying path forward and honor our request to work together on the transition by keeping Drew on board while we help usher the next nominee through the Senate confirmation process," Cramer said in a statement.

Cramer and Hoeven will have to sign off on Biden’s pick before the next lead federal prosecutor in North Dakota takes office.

“We are committed to ensuring a seamless transition," Acting Attorney General Robert "Monty" Wilkinson said in a statement earlier this month.

Wrigley thanked numerous people in his statement and said it was his honor to serve as U.S. attorney. He said his staff are "dedicated, ethical public servants, and they are patriots who love our nation."

"We shared the privilege of pursuing justice every day, and I am so fortunate to have been able to serve as their colleague and leader," Wrigley said.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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