A report released by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) internal watchdog on Wednesday (May 17) reveals Massachusetts’ top federal prosecutor, who announced her resignation, tried to use her position to sway the outcome of the Boston district attorney race by leaking information designed to sabotage the campaign of her preferred candidate’s rival.
The inspector general’s 161-page report alleges that U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins committed multiple acts of misconduct.
Rollins had been praised by Progressives for her approach to law enforcement when she took the oath of office in January 2022 after serving as district attorney for Suffolk County, which includes Boston.
But, that praise was silenced Wednesday when the report on Rollins, the harshest public condemnation in years of a U.S. attorney, a top federal post that has sometimes served as a stepping stone to higher office, was released.
The report details Rollins’ attempts to mislead DOJ investigators in interviews ahead of the report and accuses Rollins of lying to investigators under oath by falsely claiming she didn’t leak the Justice Department memo to a reporter — which she later admitted to doing.
The watchdog revealed Rollins attempted to meddle in last year’s race for Suffolk County district attorney when she provided information to media that suggested District Attorney Kevin Hayden was under federal investigation.
The 161-page report explains that the U.S. Attorney assisted Hayden’s rival, Ricardo Arroyo, by giving him “advice and direction” regarding campaign activities.
The U.S. Attorney also tried to rope in her top deputy to release a letter implying that Hayden was being investigated by the department; when that failed, she leaked sensitive information to The Boston Herald in an effort to tank Haydenv’s candidacy.
The Inspector General’s office first referred the matter to the department for possible perjury prosecution in December 2022, but officials declined to press charges, according to the report.
Another federal watchdog agency, the U.S. Special Counsel, found in its investigative report that Rollins repeatedly violated the Hatch Act, a law that limits political activity by government employees.
In a letter to President Joe Biden, Special Counsel Henry Kerner suggested Rollins’ actions were among the “most egregious transgressions” the agency had ever investigated.
The report also accuses Rollins of accepting 30 free tickets to a Boston Celtics game for young basketball players and receiving payments from a sports and entertainment agency for flights and overnight stays at a luxury resort.
The DOJ also accuses Rollins of continuing to accept contributions to her Suffolk County District Attorney campaign account after she had become U.S. Attorney and attending a political fundraiser featuring First Lady Jill Biden despite not having the DOJ’s approval.