Fired US Attorney Preet Bharara bids staff farewell in NYC

Posted March 14, 2017

On Friday, the Trump administration asked 46 USA attorneys appointed by former President Barack Obama to resign.

Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of NY, tweeted Saturday that he was sacked after indicating he would not submit a letter of resignation as requested by President Donald Trump's administration.

Fired Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara paid a triumphal final visit to his office in New York City late Monday afternoon, applauded by a rope line of cheering aides and serenaded by bagpipes as he left for the last time.

One attorney who was expected to remain in his role is Preet Bharara for the southern district of NY.

He was one of 46 Obama administration holdovers who were asked to resign by Trump's Justice Department on Friday.

A Justice Department statement said the action was taken "as was the case in prior transitions".

Sessions March 10 called upon all 46 US attorneys appointed by the Obama administration to immediately tender their resignations. The request came as a surprise for many in his office because, in a meeting in November, Bharara was asked by the then-president-elect to stay on.

The Washington Post, citing two people close to Trump, said the president's adviser Stephen Bannon and Attorney General Jeff Sessions wanted a clean slate of federal prosecutors to assert the administration's power.

"I did not resign", he said.

The Trump administration is cleaning house in the Department of Justice.

During his career as a federal prosecutor he has prosecuted politicians, diplomats and wall street executives.

One of those who has resigned is U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, who represented the state of Minnesota and was nominated in 2013 under President Obama.

While it is customary for a new president to replace virtually all of the 93 USA attorneys, it often occurs at a slower pace.

The NYT report added that Bharara had conferred with his deputy about whether it would be appropriate to return the call.

The White House declined to comment further on the resignations.

Mediaite.com said that Toobin believes Bharara was axed because he was pursuing lines of investigation that would prove "troublesome" to the Trump administration.

A year ago he announced charges against 120 people from rival New York street gangs who were snared in an operation Bharara had said was "believed to be the largest gang takedown in New York City history".

It is customary for the country's 93 US attorneys to leave their positions once a new president is in office, but the departures are not automatic.

"When they asked about emoluments clause and possible violations of it and the USA attorney's relationship to that, I think perhaps that had perhaps something to do with it", Cummings said.