Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
National | By Miranda Cannon

Fired attorney refused to take Trump's call

Fired attorney refused to take Trump's call

As the chief federal prosecutor for the Southern District of NY, which includes Manhattan, Bharara oversaw several notable corruption and white-collar criminal cases and prosecutions of terrorism suspects. "I guess that's why Trump fired him", she said, before drawing a comparison to Trump's decision to fire Sally Yates.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer addressed the high-profile firing in public for the first time at his daily press briefing, as he fielded questions about why Trump chose to sack the crusading prosecutor, who built a reputation for taking town top Democrats and Republicans for corruption. "This was done to protect the independence of our prosecutors and avoid disrupting ongoing federal cases".

"The U.S. attorneys are political appointees, and all 46 of the holdovers from the Obama administration received the same resignation letter".

The Justice Department confirmed that Bharara was no longer serving in the position and declined further comment.

The Justice Department on Friday did say it would not accept the resignations of Dana Boente, now the acting deputy attorney general, and Rod Rosenstein, the Maryland prosecutor who's been nominated for the deputy role. Each are supervised by the USA attorney general.

A report in The New York Times said a personal assistant to Trump had left a voice mail message on Thursday asking Bharara to call back Trump's office. Similarly, a post on Sean Hannity's site announced, "AMNESIA: Bill Clinton and Janet Reno Fired All 93 U.S. Attorneys at Once".

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President Barack Obama appointed Bharara to the post in 2009.

One day after he was sacked from his job as U.S. Attorney, Preet Bharara likened the move to a 2014 decision to pull the plug on an investigative commission that was looking at corruption in Albany.

The abrupt dismissal has some questioning the true motive behind Bharara's firing, including Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who suggested Sunday that the timing was a bit suspicious.

It's still early days, for sure, with Bharara's firing only a matter of days in the rear view mirror. "He was just U.S. Attorney for eight years... he'll probably take a couple months to see what he wants to do". He deserves the benefit of the doubt, given his track record and the pending case against Mr. Cuomo's former Chief of Staff and campaign manager, Joseph Percoco, as well as others with close ties to the Governor, for an alleged bribery scheme whose components included Mr. Cuomo's signature economic-development initiative, the Buffalo Billion. I have already spoken to Senator Sessions, who is as you know is the nominee to be the attorney general. And Bharara's refusal to resign was childish, an effort to score anti-Trump points with Democrats that, all by itself, demonstrated why Bharara was unfit for office and why Trump was right to let him go. Ronald Reagan replaced every sitting U.S. Attorney when he appointed his first Attorney General.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara speaks during a news conference on the extradition of suspected worldwide arms dealer Viktor Bout to New York from Thailand, in New York November 17, 2010.

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