March 13, 2017

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Says He Was Fired After Refusing to Quit

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

On Saturday March 12, Preet Bharara, the former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was fired by President Trump after refusing to resign following the request by the Trump administration for the resignation of the forty-six remaining Obama-era United States Attorneys. Mr. Bharara announced his firing on his Twitter account. Mr. Bharara served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for more than seven years tackling multiple high profile cases against Wall Street and conducting multiple cases related to fraud.

It is common for United States attorneys to be replaced when a new administration comes into power; however, historically the replacement has been gradual or piecemeal. Furthermore, Mr. Bharara’s tenure appeared poised to continue even during the Trump administration. Mr. Bharara met with then President-Elect Trump and his advisers in November 2016 where President Trump reportedly asked Mr. Bharara to remain on the job. Mr. Bharara agreed.

Many U.S. attorneys across the country were reportedly surprised by the abrupt nature of the resignation order from the Justice Department. Unlike the other U.S. attorneys implicated in the resignation order, Mr. Bharara refused to leave. On Saturday, acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente, the same deputy who replaced former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, called Mr. Bharara to inform him that he was fired.

Mr. Bharara’s team in the Southern District of New York aggressively tackled large scale financial and healthcare fraud. Mr. Bharara also strongly invested potential public corruption including the ending of the Moreland Commission by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The deputy United States attorney Joon H. Kim has taken over as acting United States Attorney until a replacement is named by the Trump administration.

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