A US Attorney refuses to resign

UPDATE: Bharara announced on Twitter that he’s been fired:

_________

As I noted this morning, Trump, or rather his minion Dana Boente, asked 46 US Attorneys to resign, cleaning house of Obama’s appointees. Those included the well-respected US attorney in Manhattan, Prett Bharara, who had previously had assurance from Trump that he’d stay. Well, Trump lied and asked Bharara to resign.

The thing is, Bharara won’t resign, as noted in this CNN bulletin I just received. This sets the stage for a cool stand-off, and Trump will have to tell him, “You’re fired!”

The high-profile US attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, has indicated he will not submit a letter of resignation as requested by the Trump administration Friday — placing the President in the position of having to fire him in a public standoff, sources tell CNN.

Bharara, who had been told after a meeting with the President-elect in November that he would stay on, felt blindsided by the move, the sources said.

According to a source familiar with the meeting between Trump and Bharara in November at Trump Tower, the President-elect asked Bharara to stay on the job and they shook hands. Trump directed Bharara to go out to the cameras and tell them, “I asked you to stay.”

The White House has not responded to a request for an official comment on the matter.

What an administration, and good for Bharara! Make the Donald fire him and then let Sean Spicer explain it.

Preet Bharara

82 Comments

  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha! Good for him! I’d do the same thing!

  2. DrBrydon
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Another action in setting up a new administration, handled with typical Trump aplomb.

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    As I gathered from the writeups, he asked for resignations to be submitted from all remaining attys. If that’s the way it was worded, Tr*mp’s of course free to accept or decline. But even if he intended to decline Bharara’s, it’ll look better in his resume this way.

    Hope others will follow suit.

  4. George
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with PCC(e) on this. He was a political appointee not civil service. Trump and his minions have every right to tell him to leave. Janet Reno made Sessions and all other US Attorneys resign shortly after Clinton was inaugurated in 1993. Read this piece in Vox:
    http://www.vox.com/2017/3/10/14890546/trump-us-attorneys-resigned

    • Randy schenck
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, because others did the same thing, that makes it correct. Make a great judge.

      If you want to get rid of them, then get rid of them. Asking them to resign…I would say stuff it.

      • Craw
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Asking for a resignation is the usual , respectful, way to do it. It does assume the appointee will behave in a respectful, mature manner. This Obama appointee did not. If that reflects poorly on a president it is on Obama.

        Periodically Dr Coyne posts about the need for comity and maturity in public. This is an example of a failure to display those virtues, and the failure is not coming from Trump.

        • Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          I think that the point is that Trump publicly said that he wanted him to stay, and then asked him to quit. May all be procedural, but still seem duplicitous to me.

          • Craw
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

            This is incorrect. He was asked to stay temporarily. Now Sessions has been confirmed.

            • Posted March 11, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

              Where did you find the “temporarily” tidbit? And why apparently just this one attorney?

              • Craw
                Posted March 12, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

                Who said just this one attorney?

              • Posted March 12, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

                I am not aware that Trump had a conversation with every attorney telling them of that they would be retained.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Asking for resignations is the respectful way to do it? If I was working for you and you tried that game on me, I would be telling you the same. If I quit or resign, no unemployment, right. You can fire me.

          Besides, if it is simply normal that these Federal judges go or turn over with the change of politics, why not have them simply expire with the change of presidents. Our system of political hacks as judges does not seem like the best idea.

          • Historian
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            The issue is U.S. Attorneys, not judges.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted March 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

              Yes, federal attorneys, not judges. Still, makes no difference. In addition to Mr Craw:

              using respectful, mature manner in a conversation concerning Trump and failure to shows those virtues? Do you work for Fox maybe?

            • Craw
              Posted March 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

              Makes no difference? No difference? One is a political appointment. One is a nominated and confirmed appointment. No difference? One serves at the pleasure of the president, one has tenure. No difference? One action is SOP, one would be a radical departure from precedent. No difference?

          • BJ
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            Seriously, this is how it works in politics. They ask you to resign so you can save face. If you refuse, then they fire you. You’re a political appointee. If you want to say Trump was wrong for telling hiim he would keep his job and then going back on that, fine. But your criticism of asking him to resign just makes no sense at all.

        • Posted March 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          Why does it reflect poorly on Obama?

          • Craw
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

            People are saying this reflects ill on Trump. No it reflects ill on the appointee. If an appointee’s bad behavior reflects ill on anyone it is the person who appointed him, not the person who fired him don’t you think?

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          I think that Trump asking him to stay and that he would not be asking him to resign and shaking on it is a contract. The president is reneging on that contract. It is an employment matter. It just so happens that in this case the employer is the president.

          Whether or not the mass sacking is a normal thing is irrelevant for this particular attorney.

          And actually, the way Trump has done it isn’t normal. He gave them no notice and there was no chance for them to hand over important caees to their replacements. When Clinton got rid of everybody, there was up to 8 months transition for this reason.

          There is speculation this is once again in response to right-wing media. The night before Sean Hannity said on his show (which has been an advertorial for Trump since he announced he was running) that it was time to sack all the attorneys.

          • W.Benson
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

            In short, Trump is unable to either tell the truth or uphold his end of a deal. He is untrustworthy and lacks character.

          • BJ
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            To say that this was somehow a “contract” is stretching into absurdity. I don’t agree with what he did, but let’s not go overboard with the criticism.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted March 11, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

              Of course it was a “contract.” Everyone who works for pay does so pursuant to a contract — express or implied. Unless otherwise specified, such contracts are “at will,” and may be terminated by either party at anytime for any reason that isn’t prohibited by the Constitution or an applicable statute.

              Unless Bahrara and Trump agreed to have Bahrara stay on for a specific length of time, Trump is entitled to fire him as an “at will” employee (and even if they did, Trump can still fire him, although Bahrara might have a legal claim for wages due or other damages incurred as a result of his firing).

              In any event, Trump’s handling of this is just the latest indicator of this White House’s rank amateurism.

              • BJ
                Posted March 11, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

                I was merely saying that saying, “hey, I’m not going to fire you,” and then shaking his hand doesn’t mean he’s in breach of some not-going-to-fire-you contract he made.

              • Merilee
                Posted March 11, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

                Remember when your word and a handshake meant something??
                Pollyanna

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted March 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

              It would be a valid argument in court here (NZ) in certain situations. He has reliable witnesses. Someone’s word is their bond. I don’t think I’m going overboard at all and would say the same if it was a Democratic president. I don’t know the situation in the US. As with so much, it would depend on the politics of the judge, which is an outrageous situation imo.

              • Craw
                Posted March 11, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

                No it would not. Are you seriously suggesting that political appointees have a contractual right to never be removed if they make a deal with the person who appoints them? That is the definition of office peddling! In the church they call that simony.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted March 12, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

                No that’s not what I’m suggesting. I never said never. That would be ridiculous.

                And I think you need to check the definition of simony. That’s the selling of clerical appointments, which is a far less honourable practice than I’m suggesting has taken place here.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      disagree with PCC(e) on this. He was a political appointee not civil service.

      I thought that US state- (or city- ?) attorneys were elected? Or is it just another part of the incoherent morass that is the USian body politic?

      • George
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Local state’s attorneys may be elected. US Attorney’s (Federal government) are appointed.

        In Illinois, each county elects a State’s Attorney. In Cook County (which includes Chicago), the State’s Attorney is Kim Foxx. She was elected last November.
        http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-kimm-foxx-interview-met-20161205-story.html

        There are some municipal courts where the city handles some minor legal matters. Basically, if you commit a crime, you are charged by the State of Illinois. The State’s Attorney of the county where the crime was committed will prosecute on behalf of the State.

        Federal law enforcement is rather small. Most crime is a State issue. There are 93 US Attorneys. Illinois has 102 counties, each with its own State’s Attorney.

        • George
          Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          Just to be clear, there are 93 US Attorneys for the entire country. The are three in Illinois. Chicago is covered by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

          The majority of his job (so it seems) is putting Illinois governors and Chicago aldermen in jail.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            And, occasionally, some of those elected judges (as in “Operation Greylord”). As the saying goes, the pay ain’t much, but the graft is good. 🙂

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted March 12, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          This separation of things into State and multiple levels of non-State is insane. Surely there are only two levels of entity – the State and the Citizen.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted March 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            With respect, Aidan, I think your proposition is an over-simplification.

            The complication of State vs Federal authority is prominent in the US, but then they also have numerous semi-autonomous police forces, and innumerable other authorities with statutory powers, all representing ‘the State’.

            But then so do most other countries – county councils, city councils, planning regulations, zoning ordinances, parking wardens, etc etc – all representing ‘the state’.

            cr

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted March 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

              When it comes to the law, there is prosecution of the citizen by the state (criminal law), or of the citizen by another citizen (civil law). And to a degree, you could argue that persuading a judge to perform a judicial review of a piece of law is akin to the state prosecuting the state. But all the levels of appeal to higher authority are still just moving up levels within the one state-vs-citizen system. But as I understand it, the State (sense : county) in America really are independent of the State (sense : country), or at least seem to think of themselves as independent. It really does sound schizophrenic from the outside.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted March 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

                Oh, that bit I agree with, and especially the nonsense about ‘States’ rights’. It seems illogical that some things should be crimes in one State and legal in another. Come to that, it’s even daffier that the procedure for electing the national President should differ from state to state.

                That said, there are in all countries, local councils who can make by-laws of local applicability, but those are usually minor matters relating to zoning and suchlike.

                cr

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted March 14, 2017 at 4:26 am | Permalink

                Are “zoning” “laws” really different from one council or another, or is the legislative framework set at state-level, but where or how to define particular zones left to local regulations (which themselves can get highly political, or be (allegedly) corrupt)?
                An example : Britain-wide, there are two sets of traffic laws – one for the Plains of Englandshire and one for Scotland (Northern Ireland isn’t part of Great Britain). Within those laws, regions and councils have choices about what they do, so that in my region, the urban county spends money on parking enforcement staff, but the rural county doesn’t (or spends a ridiculously small amount. The consequence being that when trying to find parking for the wife’s car last night there were 28 cars parked in a cul de sac marked for 20 cars, spilling out so that at least 3 vehicles were parked wholly on road clearly labelled (we had the road marking crews round a few months ago) for “no parking at any time”. One of them being on a blind 90° curve hard up against a stone wall with no visibility of oncoming traffic on the main road. Exactly the same laws, but different effects due to different spending on enforcement.
                (Same towns, same councils ; one has dog poo every 3 metres down the street, and the other doesn’t. Traffic wardens seem to discourage dog poo leavers.)

            • Posted March 12, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

              Tangential, but the whole state law versus federal law issue again points to the duplicity of this administration. Now it’s up to the states to decide who gets to use which bathroom [an inane topic] but it is federal law that trumps any state laws that have legalized the use of medical and recreational marijuana. I am fairly certain that there will be bipartisan pushback here in Colorado if Sessions and his minions try to shut down a billion/year industry in our state that has had minimal negative impact.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      This isn’t about whether Trump has the authority to fire the US Attorneys — of course he does. Every US Attorney appointed by a president of one party expects to be replaced when a president from the other party takes office.

      This is about how it was done. Generally, to maintain a sense of continuity in federal law enforcement, a new president will replace U.S. Attorneys on a rolling basis, with requests for their resignations effective at a later date — not can them en masse by telling them to pack their desks and get out by midnight.

      Trump reportedly did it this way because Sean Hannity said he should on his Fox show the night before, to rid himself of disloyal “deep state” the paranoid Right claims is plaguing Trump’s administration.

      This is another example of Trump’s rank amateurism in matters of government. That he asked for Bharara’s resignation after meeting with him and asking him to stay on is another example of Trump’s utter dishonesty and lack of honor.

      • George
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        The thing is, we already knew who Trump was before the election. Including (maybe especially) the people who voted for him. I don’t agree with the critique of the media – that they did not cover him enough. I think they over covered the email crap with Clinton. But everyone knew of “Trump’s utter dishonesty and lack of honor.” I think many of his supporters like that about him.

        I just don’t think that this battle is the one to fight. There are many, other better ones.

  5. rickflick
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s a great idea. Make Trump renege on yet another promise in public. It’s bound to erode his support among some republicans who still are trying to cling to a diminishing trace of self respect. Or not.

  6. Randy schenck
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Trump will just say they (the judges) were not interpreting the constitution correctly and they were probably wiretapping him.

    • Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed they are likely all “so-called judges.”

    • George
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      If you are going to criticize Trump, at least know what you are talking about. You again refer to judges. This has nothing to do with judges. Federal judges have lifetime appointments. This is about US Attorneys. There are 93 of them. He/she has many Assistant U.S. Attorneys and other people working for him/her. The US Attorney is a political appointee serving at the pleasure of the president. The people working in that US Attorney’s office are civil servants with all the protection that status provides.

      This is not a scandal. I don’t care what Trump said publicly. Bharara should step down. If he does not, he should be fired. That is way the system works.

      • Filippo
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Do you think Bharara (and anyone who witnessed it) should have kept secret Trump’s previously giving his word that Bharara could stay on?

        I gather that public officials (unlike private corporate tyrants) cannot include in an employment contract a “do not disparage (embarrass)” clause.

        • George
          Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think Bharara (and anyone who witnessed it) should have kept quiet about Trump’s promises. That still does not mean that he gets to keep his job. We know that Trump lies about everything. Unfortunately, he is president and Bharara served at his pleasure. I think this episode reflects badly on Bharara. He should have submitted his resignation and then let Trump have it.

          • Filippo
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            “I don’t think Bharara (and anyone who witnessed it) should have kept quiet about Trump’s promises.”

            Why not? Doesn’t not keeping quiet no less also putatively “reflect badly” on Bharara (and his supporters)?

            Wouldn’t dutifully submitting his resignation and “then let Trump have it,” as you say, no less “reflect badly” on Bharara?

            Does the Trump administration’s initial notification to AG’s – via a press release (IIRC) – not “reflect badly” on the administration?

    • Craw
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Again, not a judge. This is not a minor error on your part.

  7. Michael Scullin
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    This whole “Celebrity Apprentice” President has gone beyond dangerous to being potentially fatal to the country. And that is his and Bannon’s goal.Trump doesn’t have the brains to do it but Brannon does. It is no longer the Republican Party but the Republican Wake. I hope you all saw/heard Paul Ryan explain the death of the ACA.

  8. Craw
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Bill Clinton fired all the Bush appointees at once, right away. These are political appointments, their replacement is standard and unremarkable. The only grounds for objecting is that Trump is doing it.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      That was my standard and unremarkable defense at age 10 when I was caught hitting my sister. She did it Too.

      • George
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        If you want to be outraged at something Trump did, drop this topic and read this:
        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/3/9/1641869/-Contractor-sues-for-2-million-in-unpaid-bills-on-Trump-s-D-C-hotel

        • Randy schenck
          Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          And that is only part of the story and pretty routine for the Trump show. There are now other businesses next to this Trump hotel who are suing for loss of business. Lots of govt. people both domestic and foreign who come to DC to do business are staying there to get favor from the administration. It is a complete scandal.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

            Me, I’m waiting for the first relocation of a US Embassy into several floors of a Trump-owned property. Cost to be paid by YouThePeople, of course.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      “The only grounds for objecting is that Trump is doing it.”

      Bullshit. The basis for objecting is the way Trump fired these 46 US Attorneys.

      When a new administration takes office, it is customary to request letters of resignation from all political appointees of the previous administration. The incoming president then accepts or decline these resignations as he sees fit. As for US Attorneys, to maintain continuity in federal law enforcement, a new president ordinarily accepts their resignations on a rolling basis, giving the outgoing USAs private, advanced notice that they are to be replaced, so that they can arrange their affairs accordingly.

      Trump instead fired these 46 en masse, giving them until midnight to clear out their offices (apparently in a pique of right-wing paranoia, after hearing Sean Hannity blather on his tv show about the need to purge the disloyal “deep state” within the federal government). Many of those fired — which included long-serving career prosecutors, some in the middle of overseeing complex federal litigation, and some who were traveling — learned of their firings through media reports.

      This goes to show that Trump hasn’t a clue how to administer the executive branch of government. (Trump’s dealings with Prett Bharara further go to show how dishonest and dishonorable he is.)

      These firings are made all the worse (and all the more suspicious) by Trump’s having done it while he still has the vast majority of sub-cabinet appointments yet to fill. In particular, Trump is allowing the US State Department — the bĂŞte noire of his butt-hole buddy Vlad — to wither on the vine, without a deputy secretary and without even informing his SecState that his Mexican counterpart is in Washington DC (just as Trump has failed to take any measures for the CIA hacking by Wikileaks, which has become nothing but a front for Putin’s FSB and GRU spy agencies).

      The evidence gathers day by day that Trump has been compromised by Putin and the Russians. Being outraged by this possibility should be a matter of patriotism, rather than partisan politics. But the evidence also gathers day-by-day that the only patriots left in the Republican congressional delegation are John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The rest could care less if there’s a Russian asset in the White House, so long as he’ll sign their legislation cutting taxes for the rich, rolling back Medicaid for the poor, and laying pipeline across the American countryside.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        I still say the guy sounds just like Fox news. The excuse for everything Trump does is either, look, he did it too or you are just picking on this lovely, upstanding gentile man. Gets very old.

        • Craw
          Posted March 11, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          What channel do you sound like, calling this man a judge?

          Mr Kukec also has his facts wrong. Trump asked for their resignations. In a comment above Trump is excoriated for doing that not just firing them. Mr Kukec excoriates him ( wrongly) for asking for the resignations.

          There is no issue of making “excuses” here. Trump did nothing wrong, or unusual. Nor did Obama, or Clinton, or I assume Carter, Kennedy, FDR, … These are political appointments made in pursuance of administration policy.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted March 11, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

            What “fact” do I have wrong? Trump demanded the resignation of 46 US Attorneys and told them all to GTFO by midnight. (This is the same type of “resignation” he requested from Lt. Gen. Flynn.)

            The usual way to do it is to request a letter of resignation from all appointed officials across the government, and then to let each USA know privately, on a staggered basis, whether their resignation has been accepted and, if so, when they will be replaced — all in a manner designed to avoid governmental chaos and to avoid inflicting unnecessary inconvenience and embarrassment upon dedicated public servants. (And it was dishonest and dishonorable for Trump to meet with Bharara and authorize him to announce publicly that he would remain in office and then to go back on his word.)

            That Trump couldn’t manage this bespeaks his utter incompetence. That he did so in response to a paranoid rant by Sean Hannity bespeaks Trump’s unstable state of mind.

            The sooner conservatives stop acting like battered spouses making excuses for their abuser (“He was soo nice at his SOTU speech the other night; if only people would stop making him mad maybe he wouldn’t go on twitter binges!”), the greater the humiliation they will spare themselves and their cause in the long run.

      • somer
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        The American judicial system is a politicised system, but Trump is such an asshole.

      • somer
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        appalling. Trump has no respect for critical conventions of presidential behaviour that underpin democracy. plus he’s a paranoid, vain junk information addicted idiot

  9. Posted March 11, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Fired already.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes! Big win!
      The sooner and more often Trump lifts the hood on his golden crown to reveal the dust bin of his mind, the better.

  10. Al
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I tend to agree with critics of this take. There’s nothing unusual about political appointees being replaced by the new administration. The US attorneys were appointed by Obama and Trump has every right to replace them. It would make more sense to stagger the resignations since the replacements would have to be confirmed by the Senate and that takes time. However, as pointed out on this thread there is precedent for removing the attorneys all at once.

    Also, Dana Boente is not a minion of Trump, he’s currently the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia who was appointed by President Obama. He was promoted by Trump to the acting deputy AG position after Trump fired Obama’s appointee Sally Yates for insubordination. Though he’s in a strange position wearing two hats (the US attorney and the deputy AG) because if Trump requested resignation letters from all US attorneys, Dana Boente would have to submit a resignation letter to himself. But then we’re already used to bureaucratic clusterf*cks from the Trump administration.

    Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/who-is-new-acting-attorney-general-dana-boente/2017/01/30/252e398a-e75f-11e6-b82f-687d6e6a3e7c_story.html

    • Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      You forget that Trump not only told him he wouldn’t be let go, but told Bharara to tell the press that. You think that was okay?

      • Craw
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        That is not what the post criticizes Trump for.

        Bharara was a terrible FA. He is the one who pursued internet commenters at Reason.com and got a gag order against Reason. He is a censor. So I agree it was not OK to tell Bharara he could keep his job. But that is not what the post criticizes Trump for either.

    • Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      You are all missing the point! Of course, an incoming administration has the right to and indeed always does requrst US Attorneys to resign. They are poloitical appointees after all.
      Here however, the Orange Menace publicly endorsed Preet, heeped praise on him, and stated he would keep him on. Obviously, someone caught the Orange Menace’s ear and he realized that Preet is a crusader against Wall Street and Trump realized he had to be replaced.

      This is not a huge deal in comparison to the other catastrophes of this administration, but it looks bad and shows Trump’s word is worthless.

      • Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Well, we are not all missing the point 🙂 JAC and others have pointed out this very fact.

    • Filippo
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      “It would make more sense to stagger the resignations . . . .”

      Is a given AG required to comply with such a staggered resignation schedule for the convenience of the president and the confirmation process?

  11. BJ
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I completely lost respect for Barrhara after what he tried to pull with Reason magazine.

    Still, though….

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 12, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      One can argue that subpoenaing the records of anonymous commenters who threaten the life of a federal judge is an infringement of First Amendment interests. But there is broad bipartisan agreement that Preet Bharara is a competent, aggressive, ethical federal prosecutor.

  12. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    [Trying to think like a Trump here. Know thine enemy and all that.]
    The guy looks a bit of a brown shade, not a good healthy orange. And that name isn’t sanctified by being on the Bill of (Trade, Parts, Rights, whatever that bit of sheepskin is called). The guy must be a Muslim. “Off with his head!”

  13. merilee
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve read much good about Preet’s Wall Street butt-kicking. Naturally cannot now be tolerated by the Orange Ogre.

  14. tubby
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I know it’s not unusual or undesirable for presidents to replace the attorneys general, but you can’t just kick them out on a moment’s notice. Considering he can’t seem to staff White House agencies chances are he hasn’t got anywhere near enough appointees ready to go yesterday. And sure, I get that the entire goal is to break everything through under funding, lack of manpower, and incompetence so you can then point out how nothing works and how Trump is moved by conspiracy theories from Fox News and Breitbart.. but I… I have no words the PCC would want me to post here for this mess. They point to Clinton doing the same, but he had them stay until they were replaced and had finished important cases. It’s going to cause judicial mayhem if he leaves the attorney general offices without leadership for too long (and he will).

    • Harrison
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      This is an argument I’ve made about Republicans in general for decades.

      If you’re a business owner, would you hire employees who expect or even want your business to fail? Hell no!

      So why would you elect Republicans who insist government can’t work and do everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t work while they’re in charge? “Elect me and I’ll do the worst job possible, guaranteed!”

      • Posted March 11, 2017 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        “Why would you?” You would if you believed that government is everything wrong with everything. Many, I would argue a pretty solid majority want government to fail. More accurately perhaps, they already perceive it to be a failure. DT promised to basically tear it down. This is what they want.

  15. Posted March 11, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I think that for Bharara, being fired rather than resigning makes him feel like the fellow in the Mark Twain story who, after being tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail, said “If it weren’t for the honor, I’d just as soon have walked.”

  16. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    What seems to me to be most corrupt and bizarre is that part of the mechanism of justice is a political appointment.

    I would have expected that in a banana republic.

    cr

  17. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 12, 2017 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Quite by coincidence, I’m currently reading Destination Disaster, an old but excellent book about the 1974 Paris DC-10 crash and the recklessly negligent chain of events that led up to this entirely predictable air crash.

    And I’m just up to the chapter where the FAA was substantially weakened in 1971 and brought under more political control by Nixon nominees as part of making the branches of government ‘more responsive’ to the White House.

    The parallel with current goings-on is extraordinary.

    (The consequence being that even after the ‘Windsor Incident’ where a cargo door blew off a DC-10 which – by a miracle and some fantastic piloting – managed to land in one piece, the FAA didn’t issue an Airworthiness Directive which would have ensured a proper fix and prevented the Paris crash).

    cr

  18. Larry Moran
    Posted March 12, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    The idea that government lawyers could be political appointments (or elected) seems totally bizarre to this non-American. Does any other country do this? What’s the rationale behind making top attorneys beholding to whatever political party captures the White House? Is it written into the Constitution?

  19. Hempenstein
    Posted March 12, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Another day, another agreement reneged-on. But now (ref the story of LBJ and J Edgar Hoover) Bharara’s outside the tent pissing in. Boss Tweet may come to regret this.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 12, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Boss Tweet.

      Love it!

      cr

  20. rickflick
    Posted March 12, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Breaking News(sort of): I just heard Rachelle Maddow report that several watchdog groups had recently sent a letter to Bharara asking him to investigate the Trump organization, headquartered in Manhattan, for receiving payments from foreign governments which benefit Trump.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 12, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Oh well, that will get passed to Bharara’s successor. Appointed by Trump.

      That will neatly take care of it, won’t it?

      cr


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