Tim Shea was running out of time.

It was May, and Shea was nearing the end of his 120-day appointment as the acting U.S. attorney in Washington. By then, the former aide to U.S. Attorney General William Barr had some baggage, his tenure marked by uproar over the Justice Department leadership’s intervention in the sentencing of Roger Stone and the abandonment of the case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. In both instances, Barr had made moves to shield allies of the president.

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