Indian-American U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, has been told to quit March 10, along with 45 other U.S. Attorneys holdovers from the Obama administration.
The New York Times reported that in a surprise turnaround, President Trump who, according to Bharara, had asked him to continue in office, summarily ordered all 46 to submit their resignations.
Bharara has been probably the highest profile prosecutor for his convictions over insider trading, including sending such luminaries as former McKinsey & Co. managing director and Goldman Sachs board mamber Rajat Gupta to prison. He has also won several cases against the New York state political machine putting top elected officials behind bars.
During the Trump transition last November, Bharara had a meeting with then President-elect Trump, and when he emerged, he told media the incoming president had asked him if he would like to continue and he had agreed to do so.
The New York Times quoted an unnamed source saying Dana Boente, the Justice Department’s acting deputy attorney general called Bharara asking him to submit his resignation. And in an email, Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman, told the 46 remaining Obama administration U.S. Attorneys to resign and their work taken over by Deputy U.S. Attorneys. “As was the case in prior transitions, many of the United States Attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice,” Flores is quoted saying in the email. “The Attorney General has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition.”