Yesterday the DOJ has asked all the 46 remaining Obama-appointed US attorney to hand in their resignation, but Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara has refused to resign.
Last December, Bharara said that then president-elect Trump had asked to see him to discuss “whether or not I’d be prepared to stay on as the United States attorney to do the work as we have done it, independently, without fear or favor for the last seven years.” “We had a good meeting,” Mr. Bharara said. “I said I would absolutely consider staying on. I agreed to stay on.”
NBC has confirmed that Bharara was one of the 46 Attorneys asked to resign, suggesting that something may have changed between Trump and Bharara since then.
Press reports from both the NYT and CNN said that Bharara is now refusing the Trump administration’s demand to resign, and as CNN reporter Jeff Zelezny adds, Bharara “will make Donald Trump fire him.”
As reported in the Daily Beast, Bharara told his section chiefs that he’d yet to submit the requested letter and may instead challenge Sessions to fire him. Bharara’s office is working through an investigation of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and about to start the trials of two close allies to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
As the NYT said should Bharara be fired, “it was unclear what effect his expected departure might have on the office’s current investigations.” Among his existing investigations, the highest profile one involves a group of former aides and associates of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in a wide-ranging bribery and bid-rigging case and has been investigating Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fund-raising as part of an inquiry into whether he or other officials exchanged official acts for political donations. The investigation into Mr. de Blasio’s fund-raising, perhaps the office’s highest profile continuing inquiry, began roughly a year ago and appears to be in its final stages, with prosecutors and F.B.I. agents interviewing the mayor for four hours two weeks ago. Investigators have scrutinized scores of donors to the mayor’s 2013 campaign and his now defunct political nonprofit, seeking to determine whether anyone received favorable city action in exchange for their largess. It remains unclear whether Mr. Bharara and his top aides have determined whether they will seek charges — against the mayor, any of his top aides or his primary fund-raiser.
Among the names of lawyers mentioned as a possible United States attorney in Manhattan in the Trump administration is Marc L. Mukasey, a former Southern District prosecutor and the son of Michael B. Mukasey, the former attorney general in the Bush administration. The younger Mukasey is now a lawyer at Greenberg Traurig, a law firm in New York where Rudolph W. Giuliani, a close associate of Trump, also works. Mr. Mukasey declined to comment on Friday.
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