The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara was recently removed from his position by President Trump. Mr. Bharara’s removal as a federal prosecutor (the top federal prosecutor in the state) is part of a new administration’s political purge. The last three Administrations have similarly removed federal prosecutors from district courts, with Janet Reno (U.S. Attorney General for President Clinton) eliminating all 93 district attorney’s in one day.
What makes this one different is that Mr. Bharara did not traditionally step down or resign, he was fired. The purge of political appointees usually goes unnoticed, but a defiant Bharara brought attention to his plight…and more. His choice of stepping down v. firing is no small matter. Especially in a highly contemptuous relationship between the White House, Democrats, and mainstream media. And as expected, both were quick to condemn the firing.
But was their condemnation fair and did it address the real problem; Poltical appointees and Mr. Bharara’s sense or misunderstanding of “duty?”