Preet Bharara has no plans to join politics, nor the circus

  • Preet Bharara has no plans to join politics, nor the circus

Preet Bharara has no plans to join politics, nor the circus

Bharara, who was appointed by former president Barack Obama, was one of 46 US attorneys asked by the Trump administration to resign last month. Bharara on Thursday, April 6, 2017, made his first public speech since he left the job, telling a packed house at The Cooper Union college he waited last month for Republican President Donald Trump to fire him because he thought that's what Trump was good at.

"I do not think it is wise for a sitting president to try cultivating a personal telephonic relationship with a sitting US attorney, especially one with a certain jurisdiction", Baharara said, noting that the Trump Organization would likely fall under his purview.

Though it's common for U.S. attorneys to vacate their positions when a new administration takes office, Bharara was personally asked to stay on as USA attorney by Trump during a meeting in November. Trump after his election victory had asked Bharara to continue and when the order to demit the office came, he was unsure whether it was applicable to him. He said that while he did not "begrudge the decision", he wanted to clear the record that his dismissal was a deliberate one, PTI reported. Deliberately exaggerating the size of his audience, he said, "I don't care what the pictures show".

In response to a specific question about whether he thought any cases would be affected - his office is prosecuting a prominent Turkish businessman with ties to that country's president, and reportedly investigating the Fox network and one of Trump's cabinet secretaries - Bharara said he had faith in his successors. He returned - repeatedly - to subtle mocking of Trump's pledge to "drain the swamp" of Washington lobbying power. "Experts schooled in service and serious objective", he said at Cooper Union in New York City. Trump also called Bharara on March 9, a day before the request for resignations went out.

He spelled out a vision of a welcoming America, with liberty and justice for all, that appeared at odds with the Trump administration's vision of an America getting tough on immigration and more open to business.

"God help us if we have to count only on people in public office to make a difference", he said in the speech at Cooper Union's Great Hall in downtown Manhattan.

While he admitted "there is a swamp" and that "a lot of the system is rigged", Bharara said that a slogan isn't sufficient. You don't replace muck with muck. I will tell you that I don't really understand why that was such a big deal - especially to this White House. "That's called tongue and cheek", Bharara said.

On March 21, New York University's School of Law announced that it had appointed Bharara as a distinguished scholar, a new job he said he was "thrilled" to begin. "I do not have any plans to enter politics just like I have no plans to join the circus", he said, "and I mean no offense to the circus", he said.