Preet Bharara Fans Speculation He Was Probing Trump When He Was Fired
Zero Hedge --
There may have been much more to the termination of US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, than meets the casual glance.
According to Reuters, which cites a law enforcement source, two days before U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was fired on Saturday, the high-profile New York prosecutor declined to take a call from President Donald Trump. Bharara reportedly contacted the DOJ for authorization to speak to the president on Thursday - one day before the DOJ announced it had requested all Obama-era attorneys to hand in their resignations. When he apparently did not receive it, Reuters adds that he called back the woman who had contacted him to say "he did not want to talk to Trump without the approval of his superiors."
As reported previously, Bharara - in his role as chief federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York - oversaw several notable corruption and white-collar criminal cases and prosecutions of terrorism suspects. He was one of 46 Obama administration holdovers who were asked to resign by the Justice Department on Friday.
On Saturday afternoon, Bharara tweeted that he had been fired after he defied the request to resign. The move was a surprise because Bharara told reporters in November that Trump had asked him to remain in the job.
As Reuters also notes, the DOJ would not comment on reports of Bharara's contacts with Trump representatives and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' office in the days before his firing. The White House had no comment on Sunday on any contacts with Bharara.
Among some of Bharara recent caseflow, he was most notably overseeing a probe into New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's fundraising. Bharara said his deputy, Joon Kim, would serve as his temporary replacement.