U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara fired after refusing to resign
After years of service under the Obama Administration, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said he has been fired. He revealed his firing on his personal twitter account,
“I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life."
This comes just a day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignation of 46 U.S. Attorneys who were appointed by the Obama administration. Bharara refused to resign.
While it’s not unusual for new administration to ask for the resignation of previously appointed U.S. Attorneys, David Birdsell, Dean of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College said it was surprising to some because in November, then-president-elect Donald Trump asked Bharara to remain on the job. The prosecutor told reporters that same day he agreed to do so.
"It's unclear whose decision it was. It might have been the president’s- maybe someone advising the president who says ‘look this a particularly aggressive and hard charging U.S. Attorney who has had single victories against sitting politicians from both parties and this is a problem you don't necessarily want in your hand’," said Birdsell.
Which could have possibly triggered the firing.
"It's entirely possible given that the Trump organization is located in New York, that if there were difficulties discovered with the Trump organization, it would fall into Preet Bharara’s jurisdiction. So trading him for anyone you might be less successful with unless distinguished and less able to get a favorable ‘I’ from the media might be a pre-move of this administration at this time, “continued Birdsell.
Bharara was involved with political corruption cases involving New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Aides to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The question many asked: What will happen to those cases?
"That can easily proceed exactly as it's proceeding right now or not, but it's one of the things we don't know. We don't know if that level of prosecution will have the priority under press Bharara’s replacement,” said Birdsell.
Meanwhile Bharara said current Deputy U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim will serve as acting U.S. Attorney.