The US attorney for the Southern District of New York has been fired by the Trump administration as of yesterday.
Preet Bharara tweeted the news of his firing, emphasizing that he “did not resign.” Attorney General Jeff Session requested the Bharara and 45 other attorneys resign, but Bharara did not comply with the ask.
Bharara earlier said that Trump was interested in keeping him on at least through the year, so the request for resignation came as a surprise to him.
“I did not resign,” his tweet read. “Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”
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
The move to ask 46 Obama-appointed attorneys to resign at once has been widely criticized. Eric Schneiderman, New York attorney general, spoke out against the new administration’s “abrupt and unexplained” decision to fire so many.
Senator Chuck Schumer was also upset by the news.
“While it’s true that presidents from both parties made their own choices for U.S. Attorney positions across the country, they have always done so in an orderly fashion that doesn’t put ongoing investigations at risk. They ask for letters of resignation but the attorneys are allowed to stay on the job until their successor is confirmed.”
While it’s common for new administrations to switch up the US attorneys, firing so many Obama-appointed attorneys at once is… extreme, to say the least.
Then again, who’s surprised.