Defiant US Attorney Preet Bharara fired after refusing Sessions' demand he quit
And one Attorney in particular, Preet Bharara of the Southern District of NY, has toldCNN that he wouldn't be resigning at all.
Bharara, an Obama appointee President Donald Trump publicly asked to stay on in November, tweeted from his personal Twitter account at 2:29 p.m. Saturday that he had been fired. New York Senator Chuck Schumer also said in a statement on Saturday that Trump had called him in November and "assured me he wanted Mr. Bharara to continue to serve as US Attorney for the Southern District". The news came a day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 politically-appointed us attorneys, according to news reports. Utah's chief federal prosecutor is not among them, but Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores confirmed Friday that all those states whose chiefs have not resigned were asked to do so "to ensure a uniform transition" of the administration.
Earlier, a source for Bharara had said he was taking Trump at his word and would not comply with Session's request to resign.
It is not unusual for appointees to resign when a new administration takes power. According to Buzzfeed News' Chris Geidner and Zoe Tillman, new presidents tend to replace most USA attorneys, but usually not so quickly, and not before successors have been nominated or confirmed. Bharara worked for Comey when he was US attorney in Manhattan under President George W. Bush.
When he was asked to step down Bharara had been overseeing probes into associates of New York's governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, as well as the administration of the city's Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio.
Huber acknowledged in a December 2015 interview with The Spectrum & Daily News, a few months after he was confirmed as President Barack Obama's selection to replace outgoing U.S. Attorney David Barlow, that the states' lead federal prosecutors are appointed by the president and the approaching end of Obama's term left his job security tentative.
"The way the Obama administration handled it was appropriate and respectful and classy", he said.
But US Attorney Preet Bharara refused to resign, announcing on Twitter he was instead sacked from his position.
According to CNN, Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente informed Bharara of his firing.
"I think it's very unprofessional and I'm very disappointed", he said.
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