After reportedly asking Preet Bharara to remain on staff post-election President Trump abruptly fired him on Saturday after the US Attorney General refused the Administration’s request for him to resign. Today, Bharara, whose career is marked by successfully prosecuting numerous corrupt lawmakers posted a “clap-back” on Twitter:
By the way, now I know what the Moreland Commission must have felt like.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 12, 2017
The significance of the tweet is not lost on those who are familiar with the details of the Moreland Commission. Created by New York governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013, The Commission to Investigate Public Corruption was a public entity created under the state’s Moreland Act. The original mission was to investigate those in public office for violating state laws covering elections, fundraising, and campaigning. Per the New York Times, as the investigation shifted towards sending a subpoena to Buying Time, a media buying firm that heralded Cuomo as a client, Cuomo shut the 18-month Commission down in less than a year. However, Bharara vowed to continue his ongoing investigation. The elimination of the Commission caused quite an uproar, and an inquiry ensued to determine whether or not Cuomo could be charged with interference. The charges were not filed due to lack of sufficient evidence. Many to this day believe that the Commission was dismantled because the focus was shifting towards Cuomo.
Fast-forward to 2017, and the current administration. Bharara would have been a fearless federal prosecutor investigating any alleged corruption within the Trump Administration. Leaders from both parties admit that he would #DraintheSwamp.
Per NBC News, Former attorney general Alberto Gonzales said Saturday that “there’s nothing at all unusual” about the Trump administration’s request that all remaining U.S. attorneys resign, and said Bharara should have stepped down rather than defy the order.
“Every president and every U.S. attorney general wants to have their own set of field generals in the U.S. attorney position to help carry out the attorney general’s law enforcement priorities,” Gonzales said on MSNBC Saturday.
According to Reuters, Trump tried to call Bharara days before firing him but Bharara refused the call.
If President Trump’s goal is to “Drain the Swamp” he likely just dismissed one of the best in the business.
Per the WSJ, his termination will not likely affect ongoing probes as the investigations will continue.