Preet Bharara, Fired by Trump, Says 'Absolutely' Enough Evidence for Obstruction Probe
- Author: Jacqueline Ellis Jun 12, 2017,
Jun 12, 2017, 9:34
Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara revealed on Sunday that he received a handful of "unusual" phone calls from Donald Trump after the November election that made him feel uncomfortable, and said he was sacked after declining to take the third call.
If Trump took the money and fired Comey, that would be a "open and shut federal corruption case", Bharara said, regardless of whether Trump is authorized to fire the F.B.I. director in the general sense.
Bharara said 22 hours after he declined to return the call, he was asked to resign along with the other USA attorneys.
Commenting on the recent Congressional testimony of former FBI Director James Comey - also fired by Trump, and also for unclarified reasons - Bharara affirmed that he agreed with Comey, who, like Bharara, also disputes the nature of conversations he had with the president.
Former US Attorney Bharara attended testimony by James Comey before the Senate intelligence committee last week.
Both members of the Senate intelligence committee and other members of congress took to television and social media to share their thoughts on how Comey's testimony may help or hurt Trump amid the ongoing Russian Federation investigations. "On the other hand, I think a lot of people will tell you that the president himself sometimes makes accusations that turn out not to be true".
He said there should be an arms-length relationship between the president and those that are in a position to investigate him.
"They were very unusual phone calls". He said the story told by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey about his own contacts with the president "felt a little bit like deja vu.". That time, he said, he refused to call back. After consulting with his staff, Bharara opted against returning that third call, and was promptly fired.
The former US attorney, now a scholar in residence at New York University School of Law, is a protege of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. It is common for new presidents to ask for the resignation of USA attorneys appointed by a predecessor, and he was one of 46 asked to step down.
Some of those who came to the president's defense this weekend did so in ways that seemed to contradict the declarative statements made by Kasowitz that Trump "never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone".