Activists fear possible removal of Detroit US Attorney McQuade under Trump

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Concerns from some Detroiters as the clock ticks down to a new white house administration.

Many FOX 2 spoke to describe the current US Attorney in Detroit as fair and a champion of justice.  But Barbara McQuade's tenure could soon be up when President-elect Donald Trump takes office and begins making his own appointments.

"I've had the privilege of a job I really love for seven years, it's been a professional privilege of a lifetime and we'll wait to see what happens next," she said.

She's spent nearly 20 years in the US Attorney's Office and has been at the helm of it for seven.  FOX 2 caught up with Barbara McQuade Monday, as she along with FBI Detroit office head David Gelios announced efforts to crack down on hate crimes.

Barbara McQuade could very well be on the outs once the Donald Trump administration takes office in January.

"I don't want to write my obituary just yet," she said. "But I'm very proud of the work we've done together. I'm proud of the work we've done to attack public corruption, I'm proud of the work we've done to protect our national security and I'm very proud of the work of our Civil Rights unit, which has worked very hard to not only prosecute hate crimes, but to bring civil enforcement action to ensure the promise of the American Dream to all Americans."

Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, McQuade is very much a trail blazer. She's the first woman to serve as US Attorney in Michigan's Eastern District.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted on public corruption charges during her tenure. She was part of the team that scored a conviction against the underwear bomber Umar Farouk.

And she works tirelessly to build trust with community organizations, like the Detroit chapter of the National Action Network

"There was not a hate crime," said Rev. Charles Williams, National Action Network. "There was not  public corruption, there was not a Civil Rights case, there was not a community issue that we talked to Barbara McQuade and she got right on top of it."

FOX 2: "If she's replaced, what happens with the relationship the Muslim community has with the US Attorney's Office?

"Well it's hard to say but most likely that it will probably go downhill," said Dawud Walid.

Walid heads up Michigan's Council of American-Islamic Relations and is deeply concerned about who President-elect Trump appoints as Attorney General.  
Whoever fills that seat can appoint  a new district attorney in Detroit.

"I don’t really expect very much good coming from the Justice Department if (Jeff) Sessions or Rudy Giuliani is appointed or anybody who is appointed by Mr. Trump to be frank with you," Walid said.

McQuade says she is aware of their concerns but is confident the US Attorney's Office will remain committed to issues of Civil Rights and prosecuting hate crimes regardless of what changes may come.

"We have 115 lawyers working hard to protect people's rights," she said.

Donnell White from the Detroit chapter of the NAACP released a statement on McQuade, saying:

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade is one of the strongest allies that the Detroit Branch NAACP has had within the U.S. Department of Justice.  A replacement by the Trump Administration would unquestionably have far reaching consequences and would rip the fabric of our community that unites us towards progress  and peace.


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