Tags: andrew napolitano | preet bharara | forced | firing | boost | political power

Napolitano: Bharara Likely Forced Firing to Boost Political Power

Fox News' "America's Newsroom"

By    |   Monday, 13 Mar 2017 12:33 PM

Ousted federal prosecutor Preet Bharara likely forced the Trump administration to fire him to boost his own political ambitions, Judge Andrew Napolitano said Monday morning.

"When the president calls you up on Thursday, you don't refuse to take his call and say 'I'm not allowed to speak with you," act surprised when they ask you to quit and make them fire you unless you want to run for political office," Napolitano, as Fox News' senior legal analyst, told "America's Newsroom" anchor Bill Hemmer.

"Refusing to quit and being fired by Donald Trump is a badge of honor in this town if you're a Democrat who seeks higher office," said Napolitano, admitting that "now, I'm speculating."

One of those included Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired on Saturday because he refused to step down. According to reports, Trump tried to call Bharara, who oversaw several key corruption and white-collar cases, just a few days before he was fired.

The move came as a surprise as Bharara told reporters last fall Trump had asked him to remain in his position as chief federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York.

The prestigious seat was once held by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and FBI Director James Comey, and Napolitano noted that the nickname for the person holding the appointment is "the sheriff of Wall Street, because New York is the center of media and financial community."

There has been some speculation that Bharara was fired because he was investigating Trump, and Napolitano said it is true that there have been complaints with Bharara's former office against the president on claims that he is "illegally receiving dividends on stock from corporations he owns."

"That is something he's entitled to do while president of the United States," said Napolitano. "Those complaints, I believe were dismissed as frivolous. So frivolous that they never made it to his level."

Anyone saying that Trump fired Bharara for that reason should apologize, Napolitano said, as saying the president would interfere in a prosecution of himself is the same as accusing him of committing a criminal act.

Bharara's notable investigations have been probes into allegations involving the offices of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Napolitano said those investigations will likely continue even without the prosecutor at the helm.

"He has put away politicians from both parties," said Napolitano. "It's an aggressive prosecutor's office."

A U.S. attorney works for the president, and must leave when he or she is told to leave, said Napolitano, and it's the president's prerogative to remove holdovers from the previous administration. However, he pointed out, investigations continue while a new appointment is made.

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Ousted federal prosecutor Preet Bharara likely forced the Trump administration to fire him to boost his own political ambitions, Judge Andrew Napolitano said Monday morning.
andrew napolitano, preet bharara, forced, firing, boost, political power
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2017-33-13
Monday, 13 Mar 2017 12:33 PM
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