Preet Bharara Fired by Trump Team After Refusing to Resign
- Author: Ronnie Bowen Mar 12, 2017,
Mar 12, 2017, 0:56
"I did not resign. Moments ago I was sacked", said Preet Bharara on Twitter.
Mr Bharara's tweet continued: "Being the US Attorney in SDNY (South District New York) will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life".
It emerged on Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was seeking the resignations of 46 U.S. attorneys who served under the leadership of Barack Obama. Utah's chief federal prosecutor is not among them, but Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores confirmed Friday that all those states whose chiefs have not resigned were asked to do so "to ensure a uniform transition" of the administration.
By Friday evening, US attorneys around the country - including New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Montana - had publicly announced their resignations.
Now-former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in NY is matching President Donald Trump at his Twitter game. The practice of replacing the prior administration's attorneys is not unusual, however, it is typically not done en masse, the AP reported.
Bharara's former district includes President Trump's NY residence and offices in Trump Tower.
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When he was asked to step down Bharara had been overseeing probes into associates of New York's governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, as well as the administration of the city's Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio.
The federal attorney's firing capped a standoff with the Trump administration that started when Bharara refused the White House order to resign.
Bharara has made public corruption and insider trading an emphasis since President Barack Obama appointed him midway through 2009.
"There's a real fire inside of Lee that not everybody sees", Robert O'Neill, former U.S. Attorney in Florida's middle district whose 2013 departure created the vacancy, told the Times when Bentley was appointed 27 months ago.
Even though Bharara could be reappointed, his inclusion in the list of all the other Obama appointees came as a surprise because after a meeting with Trump in November he told reporters that he had been asked to stay on as federal prosecutor or USA district attorney.
"The way the Obama administration handled it was appropriate and respectful and classy", he said.
"I gotta write that (resignation) letter".