Tags: Trump Administration | Preet Bharara | Resign | Trump | Fire

US Attorney Preet Bharara Tweets: 'Moments Ago I Was Fired'

Image: US Attorney Preet Bharara Tweets: 'Moments Ago I Was Fired'
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 11 Mar 2017 02:56 PM

One day after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told his section chiefs he may challenge Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire him rather than stepping down, he announced suddenly through his Twitter account that the Justice Department did just that.

Earlier on Saturday, The Daily Beast reported that Bharara, who was the U.S. Attorney for the Manhattan-based Southern District of New York had been asked, along with 45 other federal prosecutors held over from the Obama administration, to submit his letter of resignation, but hasn't done it yet, according to an unnamed law enforcement official.

Bharara spoke with Sessions just this week by telephone, the official told The Daily Beast, and he was assured that he'd remain in his seat.

His office is well regarded for its fight against government corruption, including investigations of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

His office is also set to begin trials of two of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's allies, and an investigation appears to be underway whether Fox News did not inform its shareholders about settlements made in claims against former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, according to CNN Money. 

In addition, Bharara met with President Donald Trump just after the election, and was told that he would not lose his spot in New York's Southern District.

On Friday night, after the order came out, Bharara told his section chief that he hadn't submitted his letter and may make Sessions fire him instead, the official said.

Bharara has not yet spoken with the press concerning the request to step down. He's held positions of power for years, including when he served as chief counselor to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, helping lead a Senate probe into midterm firings of eight U.S. attorneys. That incident led Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to step down.

Schumer, now the Senate Minority Leader, said Friday in a statement that he's "troubled" to learn about the resignation requests, particularly for Bharara, reports The Hill. 

"The President initiated a call to me in November and assured me he wanted Mr. Bharara to continue to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District [of New York]," Schumer said.

"While it’s true that presidents from both parties made their own choices for U.S. Attorney positions across the country, they have always done so in an orderly fashion that doesn’t put ongoing investigations at risk," the senator continued. "They ask for letters of resignation but the attorneys are allowed to stay on the job until their successor is confirmed."

"By asking for the immediate resignation of every remaining U.S. Attorney before their replacements have been confirmed or even nominated, the President is interrupting ongoing cases and investigations and hindering the administration of justice."

Trump has also called two of the U.S. Attorneys on the list, Dana Boente in Alexandria, Virginia and Rod Rosenstein in Maryland to tell them they would remain, reports The Daily Beast.

Boente is the acting deputy attorney general and Rosenstein is Trump's nominee for deputy attorney general and approved will lead the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race, following Session's decision to recuse himself.

The decision to seek the resignations came after Fox News host Sean Hannity, a close supporter of Trump, called on his television show for Obama loyalists left at the Justice Department to be thrown out.

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One day after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told his section chiefs he may challenge Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire him rather than stepping down, he announced suddenly through his Twitter account that the Justice Department did just that.
Preet Bharara, Resign, Trump, Fire
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Saturday, 11 Mar 2017 02:56 PM
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