After Refusing To Leave, US Attorney Preet Bharara Says He Was Fired By Trump Justice Department
I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 11, 2017
Acting deputy Attorney General Dana Boente just called US Attorney Preet Bharara and told him President Trump was firing him.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 11, 2017
Fox News Reports:
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara tweeted that he “did not resign” and added, “Moments ago, I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”
“One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served. I want to thank the amazing people of the Southern District of New York, the greatest public servants in the world, for everything they do each day in pursuit of justice,” Bharara said in a statement. “They will continue to do the great work of the Office under the leadership of Joon H. Kim, the current Deputy U.S. Attorney, who will serve as Acting U.S. Attorney.”
A senior administration official, however, told Fox News that Bharara may be using this event for political gain. Bharara has long been speculated as a potential candidate for public office in New York.
The word “fired” was never used toward Bharara, accoding to the senior administration official, who added: “Preet is trying to make this into a thing. But it is not really a thing.”
The senior administration official also noted that everyone was treated the same, meaning that all of the Obama-appointed US attorney were asked to step down.
A person with knowledge of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s actions said earlier Saturday that he was taking President Trump up on his word that he can remain in his post. The person, who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly, said Bharara was remaining in his post after receiving assurances last year from Trump and Sessions that they wanted him to stay on.
However, a senior administration official told Fox News later Saturday night that Bharara’s account of his meeting with Trump and Jeff Sessions at Trump Tower — where he informed the press afterward that he was invited to stay on indefinitely as U.S. attorney — was never confirmed by Trump’s transition team but was solely an account from Bharara himself.
It was previously reported by the Associated Press that Bharara was not complying with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ request to resign along with other prosecutors appointed by former President Barack Obama.
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