Preet Bharara, until recently the United States Attorney’ for the Southern District of New York, was known as an aggressive, fearless, skilled prosecutor. He was also increasingly a partisan one, as his felony prosecution of Dinesh D’Souza, a vocal conservative critic of President Obama, showed. Despite the ridiculous and dishonest criticism of President Trump for firing Baharara, if there has ever been a President with good cause not to trust holdovers from the previous administration, it is Donald Trump.
The last Holder/Lynch Justice Department employee he trusted was Sally Yates, and she breached her ethical and professional duties by going rogue, and not just rogue, but partisan rogue. Baharara,who referred to himself as a “completely independent” prosecutor, was such a good bet to go rogue that it would have been negligent for Trump not to fire him. Democrats in and out of government are suddenly dedicated to defying and bringing down our governmental institutions, notable the Presidency. They can’t be trusted. Even if it wasn’t the usual course to sack the previous administration’s US Attorneys—though it is— there was every reason for this President to sack these prosecutors.
And, nicely enough, Bharara proved that Trump was right by grandstanding on his way out the door.
Asked to resign along with his colleagues, Bharara refused, and Trump fired him Glenn Reynolds calls the refusal to resign childish, but it was more that. It was a breach of professional ethics, and akin to Yates’ stunt. Bharara is a government lawyer, meaning that he represents the government’s interests as his supervisors define them. If he doesn’t like their priorities, his option is to resign—not defy them until he is fired, but resign. United States Attorneys “serve at the pleasure of the President” and that’s a term of art. The prosecution of crimes, including the decision regarding which crimes to prosecute and which crimes not to prosecute, is made at the discretion of the Executive Branch, which is headed by the President. If, for example, Bharara felt that Obama’s executive order declaring that illegal immigrants who hadn’t committed serious crimes were henceforth to be treated as if they were legal immigrants rather than illegal ones was unconstitutional, which it is, his option would have been to resign, not give a press conference, a la Yates, declaring his opposition to the new policy. Continue reading