A U.S. attorney who balked at the Trump administration’s request for his resignation indicated he would challenge the U.S. attorney general in an effort to retain his position.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has now fired him, according to a tweet Bharara posted at about 2:30 pm ET Saturday, saying, “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”
Multiple reports Saturday revealed that Preet Bharara, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was included in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ mass request for the resignation of 46 Obama administration appointees.
Bharara refused to submit his resignation letter even though the request was applicable to all Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys, including Bharara.
I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 11, 2017
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 11, 2017
The Justice Department reports that of the 93 U.S. attorneys, 46 remain from the Obama administration.
The resignation request was not expected by Bharara, who reportedly met with President Trump following the election and agreed to remain in his position during the new administration.
Bharara told The New York Times that Sessions also asked him to continue in his current role.
The Daily Beast released an exclusive report Friday noting that Bharara told his section chiefs that he might challenge Sessions to fire him.
Bharara is well known in New York for bringing cases against the four largest banks in the United States and prosecuting nearly 100 Wall Street executives. As part of an insider trading settlement, Bharara shuttered a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund.
His office is currently involved in an investigation of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and will soon start the trials of two close allies of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
H/T: The Hill
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