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New York - NY U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Says Trump Fired Him After He Refused To Step Down

Published on: March 11, 2017 07:14 PM
By: AP
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FILE- In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara speaks during a news conference in New York. The outspoken Manhattan federal prosecutor known for crusading against public corruption said on Saturday, March 11, 2017, that he was fired after refusing to resign. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)FILE- In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara speaks during a news conference in New York. The outspoken Manhattan federal prosecutor known for crusading against public corruption said on Saturday, March 11, 2017, that he was fired after refusing to resign. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

New York - A Manhattan federal prosecutor who says “absolute independence” was his touchstone for over seven years as he battled public corruption announced he was fired Saturday after he refused a day earlier to resign.

Preet Bharara, 48, revealed his firing on his personal Twitter account after it became widely known hours earlier that he did not intend to step down in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ request that leftover appointees of former President Barack Obama quit.

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“I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired,” Bharara said in the tweet.

In a statement later, he said: “Serving my country as U.S. Attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life, no matter what else I do or how long I live. One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served.”

He said current Deputy U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim will serve as acting U.S. attorney.

The Justice Department late Saturday confirmed Bharara was no longer U.S. attorney but declined to expound.

Just over three months ago, then-President-elect Donald Trump asked Bharara to remain on the job and Bharara told reporters after the Trump Tower meeting that he had agreed to do so.

Bharara was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2009. In frequent public appearances, Bharara has decried public corruption after successfully prosecuting over a dozen state lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike.

Sessions’ decision to include Bharara’s name on the list of 46 resignations of holdovers from the Obama administration surprised Manhattan prosecutors.

While it is customary for a new president to replace virtually all of the 93 U.S. attorneys, it often occurs at a slower pace. Sessions lost his position as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama in a similar sweep by then-Attorney General Janet Reno in 1993.

Robert Morgenthau, a Democratic U.S. attorney in Manhattan, famously held out for nearly a year after Republican President Richard Nixon’s 1969 inauguration, saying he needed to see some important cases through. He ultimately left in January 1970, after the White House declared he was being replaced and announced a nominee.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat, said in a statement Friday that he was “troubled to learn” of the resignation demands, particularly of Bharara, since Trump called him in November and assured him that he wanted Bharara to remain in place.

Bharara met Trump Nov. 30, saying afterward he’d been asked to remain in the job. Bharara, once lauded on the cover of Time magazine as the man who is “busting Wall Street” after successfully prosecuting dozens of insider traders, has in recent years gone after over a dozen state officeholders, — including New York’s two most powerful lawmakers.

It also recently was revealed that his office is investigating the financial terms of settlements of sexual-harassment claims against Fox News by its employees.

The request from Sessions came as Bharara’s office is prosecuting former associates of Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in a bribery case. Also, prosecutors recently interviewed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as part of a probe into his fundraising. The mayor’s press secretary has said the mayor is cooperating and that he and his staff had acted appropriately.

The request for resignations came just days after Trump last weekend claimed Obama tapped his telephones during last year’s election. FBI Director James Comey privately asked the Justice Department to dispute the claim because he believed the allegations were false. Bharara worked for Comey when he was U.S. attorney in Manhattan under President George W. Bush.

Annemarie McAvoy, a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor, said it was not surprising Trump might want Bharara gone since there’s a good chance any subpoena seeking information about Trump campaign links to Russians would go through his office. She said it was also possible Trump wanted “to take out as many people as they can in the prior administration given the leaks and problems that they’re having.”

Last week, the quick-witted Bharara initiated a new personal Twitter feed and sent an ominous message in which he linked an AP video of a Senate hearing focusing on whether federal prosecutors were fired for political reasons.

“This Senate hearing on political interference @DOJ was 10 yrs ago today,” Bharara wrote. “Is that me in the background? Boy I’ve aged.”



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Read Comments (29)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 11, 2017 at 07:29 PM Knokyankel Says:

A great beginning for purim another המן is gone. נפול תפול

2

 Mar 11, 2017 at 08:06 PM hashomer Says:

Some Federal Attorneys General were looking into Obama's bugging of Trumpf. Of course that did not happen, and Herr Trumpf can't provide a shred of evidence, so the investigations would turn on him. So the AGs suddenly needed to be fired. What an incompetent we have for President. Feh.

3

 Mar 11, 2017 at 08:09 PM Anonymous Says:

What a great besireh! Haman of der tliye!!! His sole goal in life was to dig up dirt on as many yiddn as he could& make people miserable just to demonstrate his power. We cldnt see how we'l ever be pootir from this Rasha. Wow! Hashem has His plans. Thank G D for this Haman hanging from the tree beyoim hapirim mamesh! I became the biggest fan of Trump now!

4

 Mar 11, 2017 at 08:45 PM inNY Says:

Guys don't get excited that he's gone, a conservative prosecutor will be even worse

5

 Mar 11, 2017 at 08:47 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

Seems to me he was a great prosecutor who went after the strong and corrupt. We will miss him,

6

 Mar 11, 2017 at 08:55 PM Happy Purim Says:

Reply to #2  
hashomer Says:

Some Federal Attorneys General were looking into Obama's bugging of Trumpf. Of course that did not happen, and Herr Trumpf can't provide a shred of evidence, so the investigations would turn on him. So the AGs suddenly needed to be fired. What an incompetent we have for President. Feh.

You support obama, the Haman of our days.
All liberals are!
Feh!
You should be ashamed at yourself!

7

 Mar 11, 2017 at 08:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
hashomer Says:

Some Federal Attorneys General were looking into Obama's bugging of Trumpf. Of course that did not happen, and Herr Trumpf can't provide a shred of evidence, so the investigations would turn on him. So the AGs suddenly needed to be fired. What an incompetent we have for President. Feh.

Happy Purim. It's a common practice for a new President to replace all prosecutors that were hired by a previous President. Don't drink and post.

8

 Mar 11, 2017 at 09:02 PM Anonymous Says:

I don't know who will replace him . But he was another public official who thought the badge gave him a right to bulldoze in order to get what he wanted.

9

 Mar 11, 2017 at 09:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
hashomer Says:

Some Federal Attorneys General were looking into Obama's bugging of Trumpf. Of course that did not happen, and Herr Trumpf can't provide a shred of evidence, so the investigations would turn on him. So the AGs suddenly needed to be fired. What an incompetent we have for President. Feh.

When the NYSlimes reports on the wiretaps, they're believable. Suddenly Trump isn't? Do you think you have more info than him? Because I can guarantee that you DON'T!

10

 Mar 11, 2017 at 09:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

What a great besireh! Haman of der tliye!!! His sole goal in life was to dig up dirt on as many yiddn as he could& make people miserable just to demonstrate his power. We cldnt see how we'l ever be pootir from this Rasha. Wow! Hashem has His plans. Thank G D for this Haman hanging from the tree beyoim hapirim mamesh! I became the biggest fan of Trump now!

A conservative might be strict on the books but a decent guy. Bharara was a Haman mamesh! You cant get any worse than him. He was a soina yisroel to the T. He just wanted to see as many yiddn behind bars and was making sure he gets there. Its a day to celebrate! Noone can get any worse than him. LEIHIDIM HOISA OIRA!

11

 Mar 11, 2017 at 10:04 PM rebbeice Says:

Remember this US Attorney was a cronie of Chuckie Shumer so had to go. Lets hope Chuckie the phony is next.

12

 Mar 11, 2017 at 10:31 PM Chaim Says:

The so-called corruption fighter was the most corrupt prosecutor out there. He literally made up crimes (especially in high profile case) so he can enhance his career and resume'.
Ethics reform should begin in his office, like not being able to run for any office for at least 5 years from now, if ever.
The Mcdonall conviction being overturned by the US Supreme Court is a typical example of overzealous and corrupt prosecutions. Millions of dollars flushed down the toilet for corrupt prosecutoinal misconduct.
Some insider trading convictions (even some that pled guilty) were also overturned due to some of "Preet's made up crimes", he's far from a hero.
Good riddance!

13

 Mar 11, 2017 at 10:57 PM ercsd Says:

Anonymous-I guess you would be happier if the people got away with committing illegal acts. If they do something illegal they deserve to be a little miserable.
He went after people who lied, stole and cheated and you rationalize it by implying that he was anti-semetic. If one obeyed the commandments they would have had nothing to worry about.

14

 Mar 11, 2017 at 11:13 PM yaakov doe Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

What a great besireh! Haman of der tliye!!! His sole goal in life was to dig up dirt on as many yiddn as he could& make people miserable just to demonstrate his power. We cldnt see how we'l ever be pootir from this Rasha. Wow! Hashem has His plans. Thank G D for this Haman hanging from the tree beyoim hapirim mamesh! I became the biggest fan of Trump now!

Are you claiming he prosecuted people who broke no laws?

15

 Mar 12, 2017 at 08:13 AM No obama Says:

Reply to #2  
hashomer Says:

Some Federal Attorneys General were looking into Obama's bugging of Trumpf. Of course that did not happen, and Herr Trumpf can't provide a shred of evidence, so the investigations would turn on him. So the AGs suddenly needed to be fired. What an incompetent we have for President. Feh.

Incompetent for president, dude that's obama never had a job in his life. What a disaster of president.
No obama gone, Have you seen the jobs number last week.
You foolish leftist.

16

 Mar 12, 2017 at 10:36 AM Chaim Says:

Reply to #5  
PaulinSaudi Says:

Seems to me he was a great prosecutor who went after the strong and corrupt. We will miss him,

Let's see how u react when the higher court start overturning his moirediga successful convictions.

17

 Mar 12, 2017 at 10:42 AM Chaim Says:

Reply to #13  
ercsd Says:

Anonymous-I guess you would be happier if the people got away with committing illegal acts. If they do something illegal they deserve to be a little miserable.
He went after people who lied, stole and cheated and you rationalize it by implying that he was anti-semetic. If one obeyed the commandments they would have had nothing to worry about.

If that's the case what do u say abt the Macdonal conviction?? The US supreme Court overturned his conviction and said that he did nothing illegal, and the government simply made up crimes because he was a high-profile figure. In this case the defendant former governor of Virginia was lucky that's the Supreme Court was willing to take his case, how many people are behind bars that are not so lucky And may have also not committed any crimes that are only in jail due to corrupt prosecutional misconduct.

18

 Mar 12, 2017 at 10:42 AM georgeg Says:

Note seriously that in later article on this same website it mentions that Bharara and Sessions agreed that Bharara should return Trump's request to speak together. Again. Bharara refused to return Trump's request to speak with him. This is like reading a Purim spiel.

19

 Mar 12, 2017 at 10:46 AM Chaim Says:

Reply to #14  
yaakov doe Says:

Are you claiming he prosecuted people who broke no laws?

In some cases yes.
He always acted cute and humorous in front of the media cameras. I never thought he was funny.
High profile cases were his dream, just to climb up the ladder.

20

 Mar 12, 2017 at 11:56 AM hashomer Says:

Seems that so many 'frum' posters here side with the goniffim rather than on 'Justice, Justice...' Maybe Preet was coming after all the rashas in our kehillot?

21

 Mar 12, 2017 at 12:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Happy Purim Says:

You support obama, the Haman of our days.
All liberals are!
Feh!
You should be ashamed at yourself!

WRONG today's Haman is the German in the WH daily attacks on Yiden etc. Feh.

22

 Mar 12, 2017 at 01:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
PaulinSaudi Says:

Seems to me he was a great prosecutor who went after the strong and corrupt. We will miss him,

Yes like a boil on a tuchas! B"H he is gone!

23

 Mar 12, 2017 at 02:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

WRONG today's Haman is the German in the WH daily attacks on Yiden etc. Feh.

Trump is as German as you are Polish, or Hungarian, or wherever your zaydies and bubbies came from.

Daily attacks on Yiden? Please cite ONE, SINGLE Trump White House attack on Yiden.

Today's Haman is the left-wing, sore-loser libtard.

24

 Mar 12, 2017 at 02:55 PM TrumpISprez Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

WRONG today's Haman is the German in the WH daily attacks on Yiden etc. Feh.

You keep on lying feh!!!!

Lie enough times till it sounds true .

So far Trump has been great to Israel . Friedman and greenblat are amazing . He supported bibi no two state solution . Betsy Davous is very pro school voucher abd supportive of orthodox schools . So far the polices coming out of the trump administration has been only pro Jews .

You are fake news my dear

25

 Mar 12, 2017 at 05:36 PM ercsd Says:

Chaim-What does one Supreme Court decision have to do with Preet? You pick out one case from thousands what does that prove? You say he prosecuted people who didn't break the laws-can you back up that statement? I don't remember him being humorous in front of the camera-maybe you can back up that statement too.

26

 Mar 12, 2017 at 11:40 PM Yuhvus Says:

Reply to #24  
TrumpISprez Says:

You keep on lying feh!!!!

Lie enough times till it sounds true .

So far Trump has been great to Israel . Friedman and greenblat are amazing . He supported bibi no two state solution . Betsy Davous is very pro school voucher abd supportive of orthodox schools . So far the polices coming out of the trump administration has been only pro Jews .

You are fake news my dear

Supporting Bibi and a no 2 solution is the biggest disservice to klal Yisroel. This will only embolden our enemies resolve. Who know... perhaps this is Trumps
Plan..

27

 Mar 13, 2017 at 02:12 AM Chaim Says:

Reply to #25  
ercsd Says:

Chaim-What does one Supreme Court decision have to do with Preet? You pick out one case from thousands what does that prove? You say he prosecuted people who didn't break the laws-can you back up that statement? I don't remember him being humorous in front of the camera-maybe you can back up that statement too.

You are simply clueless.
Yes there are many cases where the man made up crimes. Many of his insider trading cases were overturned by higher courts because he fabricated crimes, where the defendants did no wrong, some even pled guilty because going to trial against the government (that has unlimited resources and will get u on Jay walking if they need be).
Do u know what it means to fight against the government?? Have u ever gone to a federal prison to visit some Our inmates?
Have u ever spoken to family members that have gone through years of torture in his hands??
He was a cold blooded selfish person that was seeking fame at all costs, and at the taxpayers dime.
Yes, many ppl did wrong and need to be held responsible and that was his job, but many ppl did not commit any crimes but he overreached and took some big gambles. Very unethical, and very corrupt.

28

 Mar 13, 2017 at 10:25 AM ercsd Says:

Please give examples of Preet making up crimes and cases that were overturned by higher courts. You make accusations back them up.

29

 Mar 13, 2017 at 09:57 PM Chaim Says:

Reply to #28  
ercsd Says:

Please give examples of Preet making up crimes and cases that were overturned by higher courts. You make accusations back them up.

Around 10-15 insider trading cases were overturned, because he made up crimes so he gets the name as the "corruption fighter" and can advance his career in the most corrupt manner.
Even one case overturned is one too many when it rips a family apart.

30

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