Preet Bharara Fired as SDNY US Attorney

Donald Trump personally summoned U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to Trump Tower after the election and asked him to stay on as U.S. Attorney. He agreed. Jeff Sessions also asked him to stay on and he said he would.

Today, he's fired. Bharara confirmed the firing on his twitter account.

I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.

Trump now gets another label: Double-crosser.[More...]

Yesterday, Sessions asked the 46 U.S. Attorneys who had not yet resigned to submit resignation letters. Bharara refused to submit the letter, and now he's fired.

Interestingly, Bharara started his personal Twitter account on March 3. Did he have advance notice this was coming, and would soon be Twitter-less without the U.S. Attorney's account? Perhaps. Here's the latest:

President Donald Trump reached out through a secretary to Manhattan’s top prosecutor two days before he was fired by the Justice Department, but the two men never spoke.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH’-ruh) reported the call to the Justice Department and it was agreed he shouldn’t speak directly to Trump. That’s the latest twist in the unusual dynamic between Trump and the high-profile prosecutor who’s made public corruption a favorite quest.

Also, I wonder why it was okay to talk to Trump about his job after the election and before Jan. 20 but not after Jan. 20.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York submitted his letter yesterday. So "El Chapo" gets a new prosecutor in charge. (The case was being co-prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, but he resigned a few weeks ago, and the Justice Department's Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Division in Washington, who I assume will be staying on.)

The only two U.S. Attorneys known not to be fired as of now are Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who Trump nominated to be #2 at Justice, and Virginia U.S. Attorney Dana Boente, who took over as Acting Deputy AG when Sally Yates was fired.

Yes, every President replaces U.S. Attorneys. But in recent administrations, it was not done all at once. There are sensitive and complex pending investigations and prosecutions going on in various offices around the country that these Attorneys have been in charge of.

Who will Trump name to replace him? I would bet he'd name Giuliani's favorite partner, Marc L. Mukasey who follows him wherever he goes, to either the SDNY or EDNY slot. Mukasey was at Giuliani and Bracewell, and when Rudy left for Greenberg Traurig, so did he.

The more I think about it (which admittedly, hasn't been much), I think Bharara knew the day he set up his personal Twitter account he was leaving. There's something missing from the story that Trump called but they never spoke.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Nothingburger. Utterly routine (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 12, 2017 at 08:17:55 PM EST
    Unless Bharara was personally supervising an investigation implicating Tr*mp, and Tr*mp or Sessions knew it. That would be a horse of a different color.

    i saw the guy who broke the story (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 at 08:28:05 PM EST
    say there are other things, or additional things,  he could have been investigating.  Rudy being one.

    I think (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 07:24:51 AM EST
    a lot of what he was doing can be picked up by the NY AG.

    of course it can be (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 07:42:47 AM EST
    the question is if it will be.

    Preet Bharara tweeting (none / 0) (#10)
    by Nemi on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 08:13:57 AM EST
    By the way, now I know what the Moreland Commission must have felt like

    got this response from Josh Marshall:

    Okay, got it. You gotta a story to tell. No shortage of takers, buddy.

    Hmmm, time for munching popcorn with bated breath? ;)


    Murdoch and Fox News (none / 0) (#17)
    by Towanda on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 12:10:05 PM EST
    were under investigation by Bharara, per reports.  

    And other reports are that Bharara already was or would be involved in investigations of Trump Tower issues with Russians there, gangsters and others, as well as Manafort and more.


    The US Atty has plenty of assistants (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 01:18:15 PM EST
    who are in fact professional, non-political employees (not sure if they are literally "civil service") who will not automatically drop those, or any other sensitive investigations just because the Presidentially-appointed chief of the office got fired (or resigned, for that matter).  

    Okay, that makes sense (none / 0) (#22)
    by Towanda on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 02:58:47 PM EST
    with the current staff, but I read that in mind for a replacement for Bharara may be a Trump teamer, and if so, could he slow down or stop some current cases?  And I read that this step may be due to potential cases rumored to be in the works about Trump dealings in NYC; could a new guy stopmthose before they start?  

    Your insights are appreciated, as IANAL -- and I cannot assess whether those reports are by journalists without law degrees, too.


    True, asking for (none / 0) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 01:40:08 PM EST
    the resignation of the 46 US Attorneys was routine.  However, save for the daily milking of cows, I doubt that Sessions does much that is utterly routine.

    Planned chaos is their plan, and it would not be surprising if the abrupt termination of the 46 Attorneys General was a sweeping cover to remove Preet Bharara.  The tinfoil dome scandal that is the Trump Administration, what with microwaves spying on the populace and all, has no apparent bounds.


    Don't you mean ... (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 02:01:42 PM EST
    However, save for the daily milking of cows, I doubt that Sessions does much that is utterly routine.

    ... "udderly routine"?


    Yes, a little word play, (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 02:51:55 PM EST
    meant the udder one.

    Rachel Maddow (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 14, 2017 at 09:46:51 PM EST
    is reporting her great scoop--receiving Trump's "tax returns for 2005" via David Cay Johnson, who, in turn, obtained them anonymously.  While Johnson does not know who got them to him, he does allow the possibility to rise that Trump, himself, leaked them to him, since Trump has done such things previously.

    Trump, as the source, would be what I would go with. The 2005 "tax returns" are just the first two pages of a 1040, with no supporting information, including, most importantly, sources of income and interest paid.

     The returns do show that Trump paid a substantial amount of taxes on a large income.  This release of information shows he paid taxes, at least in 2005, he gets to lambast the "media" (MSNBC) for 'stealing' the documents (which was not stolen nor illegal to report), and changes the subject from the Trump/Ryan Care debacle, and the firing of the US Attorneys. MSNBC, I believe, was euchred by Trump.

    this belongs in an open thread (none / 0) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 07:41:50 PM EST
    it's off topic

    Paying 25% on $150 million of income (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 09:12:14 AM EST
    (or possibly, of "adjusted gross" or even "taxable" income; not clear which) is not a particularly high rate. I don't have 1/2 of 1% of that level of income, and I pay that same percentage or more. And Tr*mp paid even that modest amount only because of the "alternative minimum tax," according to Johnson (who, by the way, is a tax expert); otherwise, it would have been little or nothing.  AMT is one of the provisions that makes our federal income tax law even halfway progressive ... so naturally it's one of the provisions that Tr*mp has proposed abolishing in his so-called "tax reform" package.

    Why Shouldn't the Job be Under Civil Service? (none / 0) (#1)
    by RickyJim on Sun Mar 12, 2017 at 09:44:19 AM EST
    It doesn't make sense to me that the people who are under the US Attorney are civil servants but the boss isn't.  The only thing worse than the current system would be to have them elected like state district attorneys.  I wouldn't be surprised  if there is something interesting about the Bharara case that we don't know yet.  Did he decide he'd rather run for mayor of NY rather than continue in his present job and being fired by Trump would be a great selling point?

    Those are patronage positions (none / 0) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Mar 12, 2017 at 11:27:15 AM EST
    I'll save you the trouble of googling "plum book."

    i suspect there are things (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 at 04:40:43 PM EST
    we dont know about this case.

    i do not think it is that he decided to run for political office.  that said, if he did now it wouldnt surprise me.


    Here's what you need to know (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Mar 12, 2017 at 08:40:35 PM EST
    i suspect there are things we dont know about this case.

    All you have to know is that this guy has a reputation of absolute integrity and always getting his target, and that his territory included the George Washington Bridge and the Trump Tower.


    lets play this out (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 at 08:56:15 PM EST
    he meets with Trump who is so stupid he probably told him he could stay on.  then the minions descend, probably led by Rudy, screaming "are you f@cking nuts"

    Why shouldn't all of the justice department (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 09:59:55 AM EST
    be under civil service?

    No need for elections.

    Why, the country might go in a different direction if the people have a say.

    BTW - heard on TV that Lincoln fired about 70% of appointees in all departments. He too had too many Democrats.


    The Justice Department Should be Independent (none / 0) (#14)
    by RickyJim on Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 10:39:24 AM EST
    of the rest of the government.  Some have advocated that the Attorney General of the US be elected separately from the president.  But making the Justice Department 100% civil service might work.  Let the employees select the boss.

    Let me see (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 14, 2017 at 09:43:40 PM EST
    You want a 4th entity accountable to????

    Let's see... the AG  decides our arresting a radical terrorist is illegal so he does what????

    And let the employees select the boss???

    Do you think the JD employees would have selected  Robert Kennedy??

    You folks are just enamored of such because you currently have a bunch of like minds embedded.

    What happens when they get booted?


    Congress Should be Able to Impeach (none / 0) (#39)
    by RickyJim on Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 07:20:16 AM EST
    an incompetent or crooked attorney general, as well as an internal board of the justice department.  It is a valid criticism of the entire US judicial system that it is far from independent.  And this can be improved.  That goes both for elections and political appointments of judges and prosecutors.  I would trust other judges and prosecutors to select the best of their kind to lead.  I don't understand what point you were trying to make about Robert Kennedy.    

    Repeat after me (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 07:50:37 PM EST
    J Edgar Hoover.

    Then Robert Kennedy point (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 07:52:49 PM EST
    was to point out that the Old Guard hated him. He would have never been selected.

    thread cleanedof off topic (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 07:43:54 PM EST
    comments and personal sniping at other commenters. Jim and Jondee will go into timeout if they don't stop

    ProPublica is (none / 0) (#48)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 17, 2017 at 03:45:41 PM EST
    reporting that Preet Bharara, when fired, was investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price for insider trading, trading health stocks while introducing health legislation.