U.S. Attorney Who Refused To Resign Has Been Fired

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Mar 11, 2017 2:52 PM
U.S. Attorney Who Refused To Resign Has Been Fired

Leah wrote about how U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara refused to resign his position that some saw as a setup for a legal showdown with the Trump White House. Bharara was one of the 46 U.S. Attorneys that were asked to resign on Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. After Bharara refused, he was fired. There’s some intrigue with this incident since The Washington Post noted that Bharara was reportedly asked by the president to remain onboard. It should also be noted that requests for U.S. Attorneys that were appointed by a previous administration to resign is not uncommon (via WaPo):

Preet Bharara, one of the most high-profile federal prosecutors in the country, was fired Saturday after refusing to submit a letter of resignation as part of an ouster of the remaining U.S. attorneys who were holdovers from the Obama administration, according to people familiar with the matter.

“I did not resign,” Bharara said on Twitter. “Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”

On Friday, acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente began making calls to 46 prosecutors asking for their resignations. Such requests are a normal part of a transition of power from one administration to another, and about half of the 94 Obama-era U.S. attorneys had already left their jobs.

[…]

After Trump won the presidency, he met in late November with Bharara. The meeting came about, according to people familiar with the matter, after Mr. Trump called Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and congratulated him on becoming the leader of the Senate Democrats. In that conversation, Trump brought up Bharara, and said he was thinking of keeping him in his job, these people said. Schumer praised Bharara and Trump then arranged a meeting with Bharara at Trump Tower.

During the conversation, Trump told Bharara to call Sessions, his nominee for attorney general, who also asked Bharara to stay.

When Bharara was leaving, according to one person familiar with the meeting, he asked the president-elect what he should tell the reporters in the lobby. Trump told Bharara to tell them he was staying on, this person said.

The Post added that the DOJ declined to comment.