US Atty. Preet Bharara Fired By Trump White House, And It’s Looking Very Shady

In November, the GOP's president Donald Trump specifically asked US Attorney Preet Bharara to stay on. Then, AG Jeff Sessions abruptly fired him.
Featured image: Video screen grab via CBS.

Back November, the GOP’s president Donald Trump specifically asked Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, to stay on. That was highly unusual. Since Barack Obama appointed Bharara back in 2009, he had likely planned to offer his resignation. That’s normally what high-level Oval Office appointees do when the opposing party takes the White House.

He told POLITICO and other news outlets perhaps the then-president-elect made this gesture out of respect for his office’s work and as a fellow New Yorker.

Then, on Friday, Donald Trump’s newly-confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly asked Preet Bharara to resign. CBS News reports he refused, and Donald Trump fired him. 46 other U.S attorneys from the Obama administration were also asked to resign.

CNN’s Jake Tapper confirmed the news.

Donald Trump’s supporters were quick to point out that President Bill Clinton’s U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno also asked GOP-appointed U.S. attorneys to resign — most notably, Jeff Sessions.

But CNN’s Jake Tapper quickly shut that down. After all, Donald Trump had specifically asked Preet Bharara to stay on.

Nor are folks in law enforcement happy about this. After all, the GOP’s supposed to be about law and order, and Preet Bharara has a stellar record. Perhaps too stellar.

Why would Donald Trump change his mind about Preet Bharara so suddenly?

Eric Tucker from the Associated Press told CBS he sees it as Jeff Sessions’ attempt to assert himself, but still finds the timing odd.

“This is unusually hasty, the timing was kind of curious. We’re not sure why — on a Friday — they were told to pack their bags and go later that day. Especially a U.S. attorney who was told by the president he could stay on.”

Tucker adds that the AP’s still looking deeper into this story and warned that if Sessions kills any pending investigations, he may create bad morale. He then concluded:

“Whatever promise the president made in November was not good enough for Preet Bharara to keep the job.”

Of course we all know what a promise from Donald Trump is worth by now. But what are these “pending investigations” Erick Tucker hints at?

Might it have something to do with that Russian spy ring in New York City that Preet Bharara and his team busted back in 2015? That might explain why Donald Trump and his band of Putin stooges don’t want him around.

Last week, The Washington Post reported:

A trio of watchdog groups has asked the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York [Preet Bharara] to investigate whether President Trump has received payments or other benefits from foreign governments through his business interests in violation of an obscure clause in the U.S. Constitution.

A paragraph from watchdog groups’ letter to Preet Bharara reads as follows:

We call on you as the United States Attorney for the jurisdiction where The Trump Organization is located to exercise your responsibility to investigate and take appropriate action to ensure that the Trump Organization and related Trump business enterprises do not receive payments and financial benefits from foreign governments that benefit President Trump.

The letter was signed by Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, bipartisan leaders of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington organization (CREW), and Paul Smith of the Campaign Legal Center.

Norman Eisen, Barack Obama’s former ethics counsel who now serves as CREW’s chair declared:

“It cannot be the case that the president can flagrantly violate the Constitution and get away with it.”

CREW’s vice chair, Richard Painter, served as George W. Bush’s ethics counsel and also signed the letter. CREW also filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump in the New York federal district court claiming he’s violated the U.S. Constitutions emoluments clause. WAPO explains that although the clause is vague, it was meant to prevent our new nation’s leaders from being influenced by Europe’s wealthy rulers.

“no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

Aside from Donald Trump’s many other conflicts of interest, his Trump Tower tenants include a Chinese Bank, the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority. Meanwhile, he’s got plans to build posh hotels in China, and received preliminary approval there for an astonishing 38 Trump-branded trademarks. The Trump organization also has embarked on various real estate projects and licensing ventures in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Taiwan, and Turkey.

WATCH: Donald Trump asks Preet Bharara to stay, then abruptly fires him.

Featured image: Video screen grab via CBS News.

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