Preet Bharara

Bharara May Run as an Independent

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is “weighing a run for the suddenly vacant spot of New York attorney general — possibly doing so as an independent, free of ties to Democrats and Republicans,” Bloomberg reports.

“Bharara’s name was floated as possible attorney general almost instantly after Eric Schneiderman quit as New York state’s top cop on May 7, following allegations of abuse by four women. Bharara, 49, served almost eight years as U.S. attorney in New York, where he spearheaded an historic crackdown on insider trading and targeted corruption in state government, before he was summarily fired by President Trump on March 11, 2017.”

Preet Bharara on How to Flip a Witness

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by President Trump earlier this year, joins Chris Riback to discuss the unfolding Russia investigation and how special counsel Robert Muller might try to flip a witness.

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Bharara Details Trump’s Inappropriate Communications

Preet Bharara, the US attorney who President Trump fired just three months into his presidency, said on his new podcast that he believes that if he had stayed Trump would have asked him “to do something inappropriate.”

Said Bharara: “I believe based on the information that we have on the president talking to Jim Comey relating to Michael Flynn, the information about the president talking to Jeff Sessions about the case of Joe Arpaio, and how he wanted both of those cases to go away — that had I not been fired, and had Donald Trump continued to cultivate a direct personal relationship with me, it’s my strong belief that at some point, given the history, the President of the United States would have asked me to do something inappropriate.”

Trump’s Lawyer Boasted of Getting Bharara Fired

Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer in the Russia investigation, “has boasted to friends and colleagues that he played a central role in the firing of Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” ProPublica reports.

Kasowitz told Trump: “This guy is going to get you.”

“Those who know Kasowitz say he is sometimes prone to exaggerating when regaling them with his exploits. But if true, his assertion adds to the mystery surrounding the motive and timing of Bharara’s firing.”

Bharara Was Investigating Price Stock Trades

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, ProPublica reports.

“Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry.”

White House Unhappy with Bharara’s Attitude

The Wall Street Journal references an anonymous aide in a story claiming the White House “appears to be unhappy” with Preet Bharara’s handling of his dismissal as U.S. Attorney.

In reference to Mr. Bharara’s ouster, the White House aide said: “The U.S. attorneys are political appointees, and all 46 of the holdovers from the Obama administration received the same resignation letter. It’s fair to say that 45 of the 46 behaved in a manner befitting the office.”

The aide added: “As much as Preet wants everything to be about Preet, everyone was treated the same way.”

Mr. Bharara, in response to the White House’s comments, said: “It was my understanding that the president himself has said anonymous sources are not to be believed.”

Why Preet Bharara Had to Go

Mike Allen: “There’s a school of thought that the whole purge was about Preet in the first place: He’s a maverick, his Southern District of New York is powerful, U.S. attorneys have significant independence, and he has jurisdiction over Trump Tower. And he recently launched a personal Twitter feed.”

“If Preet ever flexed his muscles to undermine Trump, he’d be hard to stop. Better to ax him when you can.”

Trump Tried to Call Bharara Before Dismissal

New York Times: “The call to Preet Bharara’s office from President Trump’s assistant came on Thursday. Would Mr. Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, please call back?”

“It was unclear whether the president’s call on Thursday was an effort to explain his change of heart about keeping Mr. Bharara or to discuss another matter. The White House would not comment on Saturday.

However, there are protocols governing a president’s direct contact with federal prosecutors. According to two people with knowledge of the events who were not authorized to discuss delicate conversations publicly, Mr. Bharara notified an adviser to the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, that the president had tried to contact him and that he would not respond because of those protocols.”

Mike Allen: How Preet’s firing went down.

Bharara Refuses Order to Step Down

“Preet Bharara, the Manhattan federal prosecutor who was told to submit his resignation along with 45 others on Friday, has no plans to do so — forcing a potential showdown with President Trump and the Department of Justice,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Bharara was asked by Mr. Trump to remain in his current post in a meeting in late November, a few weeks after the presidential election. Mr. Bharara met with Mr. Trump at Trump Tower, and then addressed reporters afterward, saying that he had been asked to remain and had given the president his promise to do so. But Mr. Bharara was one of the 46 holdovers from the Obama administration who abruptly received a call on Friday telling him to vacate.”

Three Men in a Room

One day after the arrest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D), U.S. attorney Preet Bharara criticized Albany’s political culture, Capital New York reports.

Said Bharara: “There are by my count 213 men and women in the state legislature, and yet it is common knowledge that only three men essentially wield all the power. I must confess a little bit of confusion about this: When did this come to pass? Why has everyone just come to accept it?”