EXCLUSIVE: One-on-one with former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade - WNEM TV 5

EXCLUSIVE: One-on-one with former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade

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A trailblazing U.S. Attorney who served Mid-Michigan will soon be leaving office.

Barbara McQuade was recently asked by President Donald Trump to resign. He made the same request to 45 other U.S. Attorneys across the country appointed by former President Barack Obama.

“I'm pleased with some of the things we were able to accomplish. Some of the reductions in violent crime, some of the work to reduce it in Saginaw and Flint and Detroit,” McQuade said.

McQuade is proud of the record of her office.  In 2010, she was tabbed by Obama to become U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan that includes our region.

McQuade said she is proud to be the first woman to serve the position.

"I'm proud of that. Sometimes people ask me how does it feel to be the first woman U.S. Attorney and sometimes I feel sad that we're first talking about the first woman anything in 2017, but I am honored to have had the chance to do this,” she said.

The prosecution of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for corruption in office was one of biggest cases McQuade handled.

"Sometimes I hear from people, ‘Well, why'd you go after Kwame? He didn't do anything different from what any other mayor has done before him, any of his predecessors?’ I don't know if that's true or not. I can't go back in time and prosecute his predecessors but I can prosecute him and I think it sends a message that this community will not tolerate that type of abuse of public trust,” McQuade said.

The prosecution of Dr. Farid Fata was also a huge case for McQuade.

Fata pleaded guilty to fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. He put some patients through treatments that weren't necessary. In fact, some of those patients didn't even have cancer.

"That was a really sad case. We have had many, many cases of health care fraud where doctors fraudulently billed Medicare but that one was really different in that he also harmed patients. He lied to patients about having cancer so that he could administer expensive chemotherapy treatment to them and then bill Medicare for those expensive treatments,” McQuade said.

McQuade also went after Takata for its defective airbags and Volkswagen for falsifying its emissions tests.

"This office really should be involved in some of these auto cases because of where we sit and what we do here in the eastern district of Michigan. So, I’m really proud that we were able to bring those cases here,” McQuade said.

McQuade's political leanings are obvious as you look around her office.

There are pictures with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and former First Lady Michelle Obama – all prominent Democrats.

It was no surprise when Trump asked her and 45 other U.S. Attorneys to resign, but McQuade was puzzled over one aspect of the request.

"Well, it is customary for a new president to ask, to replace U.S. Attorneys so that part doesn't surprise me. The timing and abruptness of it was a little bit surprising. We were asked to holdover to insure an orderly transition, then suddenly at 4:30 on a Friday to be asked to leave immediately was a little bit disruptive,” she said.

McQuade said politics are no longer in her future, at least until 2018.

Starting May 1, McQuade will teach national security law, criminal law, and criminal procedure at the University of Michigan Law School. 

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