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Here’s what to know about the ethics investigation into Rachael Rollins

United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachael Rollins is seen during a Feb. 6 press conference held at Boston Police Headquarters to announce a suspect held in connection with the murder of 13-year-old Tyler Lawrence.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Massachusetts US Attorney Rachael Rollins said she will resign on Friday, a decision that follows a months-long ethics probe by the Department of Justice.

Rollins, who took office in January 2022, has been enmeshed in two investigations sparked by the same incident, her attendance last summer at a Democratic fundraiser featuring First Lady Jill Biden.

The office of US Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s watchdog, recently provided Rollins with a copy of a report detailing its findings.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rollins announced in an office wide e-mail that she is stepping down from her post.

Aside from Rollins’ attendance at the July 14 fundraiser hosted by the Democratic National Committee, the investigation reportedly included scrutiny of whether Rollins used her personal cell phone for official business, as well as a look into a trip Rollins took to California in June.


An outside group paid for Rollins’ trip to speak at CAA Amplify, an annual gathering of entertainment, business, and political figures and hosted by the Creative Artists Agency, one of the top talent agencies in Hollywood.

The inspector general’s office investigates allegations of misconduct by federal employees and officials, then makes recommendations to the Justice Department.

The US Office of Special Counsel was the first to launch an investigation into Rollins attendance at the Democratic fundraiser where the First Lady spoke, but has not yet released its findings.

The administrative investigation is focusing on civil violations, which if proven could result in disciplinary action or a fine.

Rollins arrived at the fundraiser, held at an Andover home, in a government-issued car, driven by a government employee.

The office investigates Hatch Act violations, which bars federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity while working and sets limits on fund-raising and other activities.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, an outspoken Republican and a fierce critic of Rollins who had sought to block her confirmation, had urged the inspector general in a letter last year to investigate whether the U.S. attorney’s actions violated the Hatch Act.


Tonya Alanez can be reached at Follow her @talanez.