U.S. Attorney Fired After Refusing Jeff Sessions’ Order to Resign
March 15, 2017
One of the most prominent U.S. prosecutors, Preet Bharara, was fired Mar. 11 after refusing to step down, according to The Guardian. In a tweet Bharara said, “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the U.S. Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”
During Bharara’s seven years as a top prosecutor he pursued investigations into the corruptions in Wall Street and politics as reported by The Guardian. And during the time he asked to resign, Bharara was overseeing into the associates and aids of Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio, Democratic governor and mayor. Bharara was also investigating claims that Fox News had failed to report to shareholders of sexual harassment cases settled against former CEO Roger Ailes.
Bharara was one of the 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by Barack Obama asked to resign as reported by The New York Times. The act of changing out attorneys, while not new, is usually done in phases according The Guardian. The order came as a shock to Bharara as he was asked by Donald Trump in a meeting late last year to stay and he agreed to it.
Bharara said to The Guardian, “presumably because he’s a New Yorker and is aware of the great work that our office has done over the past seven years, asked to meet with me to discuss whether or not I’d be prepared to stay on as the United States attorney to do the work we have done, independently, without fear or favor for the last seven years.” Bharara would later add that the meeting had been good, that he had agreed to stay on and that even Sessions had asked he stayed on.
A call was made to Bharara Mar. 9 however, it is not known if the call had been made to explain Trump’s decision change or if it was to discuss another topic, as the White House would not comment on it reported The New York Times. The morning of Mar. 11 in an article by The Guardian it was reported from anonymous sources from the Associated Press and other outlets that Bharara had not plan to resign, at least not yet. After Bharara’s refusal to step down the president’s administration fired him, as they did with acting attorney general Sally Yates. There was no comments made on the firings by the justice department after they were referred to for questions by the White House.