Yer fired

So the Trump people solved the problem by firing Preet Bharara.

On Friday, acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente began making calls to 46 prosecutors asking for their resignations. Such requests are a normal part of a transition of power from one administration to another, and about half of the 94 Obama-era U.S. attorneys had already left their jobs.

But Boente’s call to Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, appears to have left some confusion in its wake, in large part because President Trump met with Bharara soon after the election and had asked him to stay on.

During Friday’s call, Bharara asked for clarity about whether the requests for resignations applied to him, given his previous conversation with Trump, and did not immediately get a definitive answer, according to a person familiar with the exchange.

So that sounds less like a show of defiance from Bharara than simply uncertainty about what was going on. It also sounds like clumsy rudeness and incompetence on the part of the Trump people…but perhaps I’m being too generous, and they meant to be rude and abrupt-for-no-reason.

When asked Friday whether Bharara was also being asked for a resignation letter, one White House official not authorized to speak publicly said, “Everybody’s gone,” and would not engage further on the issue. Two people close to the president said the president’s chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and Attorney General Jeff Sessions want a clean slate of federal prosecutors and are unconcerned about any perception that the White House appears to have changed its mind about Bharara. The ouster of former president Barack Obama’s federal prosecutors is about asserting who’s in power, these people said.

It’s about asserting who’s in power despite having decisively lost the popular vote and unprecedentedly low ratings in the polls, along with the ever-expanding knowledge base about Putin’s influence on the election.

5 Responses to “Yer fired”