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UPDATED: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Fired After Refusing to Hand In His Resignation

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UPDATE: Bharara has now been officially fired after refusing to turn in his resignation as requested: Story Here.

Original story text below:


by Micah J. Fleck

According to The New York Times:

Preet Bharara, the Manhattan federal prosecutor who was told to submit his resignation along with 45 others on Friday, has no plans to do so — forcing a potential showdown with President Trump and the Department of Justice.

Mr. Bharara, whose office is overseeing a case against a top aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and an investigation into people close to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, has told several people that he did not hand in a resignation on Friday, as he was ordered to do by the acting deputy attorney general, Dana Boente.

He also does not intend to do so over the weekend, he said in conversations with associates, a move that could force the hand of the Trump administration.

A spokesman for Mr. Bharara declined to comment.

Mr. Bharara was asked by Mr. Trump to remain in his current post in a meeting in late November, a few weeks after the presidential election. Mr. Bharara met with Mr. Trump at Trump Tower, and then addressed reporters afterward, saying that he had been asked to remain and had given the president his promise to do so.

But Mr. Bharara was one of the 46 holdovers from the Obama administration who abruptly received a call on Friday telling him to vacate.

Officials with the White House and the Department of Justice did not respond to requests for comment about how they plan to handle Mr. Bharara.

The initial mass call to resign that included Bharara was reported on by the New York Post, in which an argument was made to keep Bharara at his post:

What’s stunning is that Bharara was included in the order. After all, both then-President-elect Trump and Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions last November specifically asked him to stay on the job, and he agreed.

Yet Friday, when asked if there were any exceptions to the order, a Justice Department spokesman said: “Everyone gone.”

Trump and Sessions were right the first time, and they need to rescind the order for Bharara, the most successful prosecutor yet when it comes to undoing New York’s culture of political corruption.

Indeed, this comes as he’s still investigating the de Blasio administration and other key figures in New York for possible corruption. It’s absolutely the wrong time for him to leave.

Controversial author Dinesh D’Souza, who has been investigated by Bharara in the past and was found guilty of campaign finance fraud back in 2014, attempted to gloat at Bharara’s expense on his Twitter account over the past couple of days during these happenings:

He subsequently called for the feds to infiltrate and forcibly remove Bharara from his office:

No further news as of this writing, however, regarding what further actions will indeed take place amidst this standoff.

 


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