Fired US Attorney Preet Bharara bids staff farewell in NYC

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York City, U.S., July 13, 2016. "One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served". "I think that was unlikely", Christie said. The commission was abruptly disbanded a year later. The law enforcement source declined comment on whether the office had any active investigations related to Trump. "President Trump is concerned about the jurisdiction of this USA attorney and whether that might affect his future".

After speaking with Hunt, Bharara called the White House back and said the attorney general's office had advised him not to speak directly with the president.

"Mr. Bharara's legacy is one South Asian legal professionals and the greater legal community can only hope to emulate".

"Each U.S. attorney has his own order of priorities and how they see the resources of the office best used and each U.S. attorney also has the right to discontinue an investigation if they feel it's a waste of time", said Ben Brafman, a leading defense lawyer.

The Justice Department late Saturday confirmed Bharara was no longer US attorney but declined to expound. Bharara had worked as Schumer's chief counsel for four years and the senator had recommended him for the post.

While it is customary for a new president to replace virtually all of the 93 USA attorneys, it often occurs at a slower pace. According to people speaking on condition of anonymity, Bharara was concerned about returning the call as there were protocols restricting communications between the White House and prosecutors.

Christie, however, said the fault lay with the federal prosecutors, who were in denial about being political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the president and "hanging on with your fingernails, being scraped off the desk to get out of the office".

The next day, the Trump administration fired Bharara as he had not tendered his resignation as demanded of him and 45 other U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama.

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But Bharara did not immediately tender his resignation, and moreover, refused to step down, citing earlier meetings he had with Trump and Sessions, who had urged him to stay on.

But a USA law enforcement official said Bharara declined to take the call, placed on Thursday, saying he did not want to talk to the president without the approval of his superiors. "We had a good meeting".

"I do believe that something odd happened", he said. "He also asked that I stay on, and so I expect that I will be continuing", he told reporters.

Fishman, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, resigned Friday at the request of the White House, which also demanded the resignation of 45 other U.S. attorneys appointed by President Obama. Giving an explanation for the call, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the "president reached out to Preet Bharara on Thursday to thank him for his service and to wish him good luck". Among them were Bharara and New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. Trump had reportedly asked him to consider remaining as the USA attorney for NY. Bharara, once lauded on the cover of Time magazine as the man who is "busting Wall Street" after successfully prosecuting dozens of insider traders, has in recent years gone after over a dozen state officeholders, - including New York's two most powerful lawmakers.

He locked horns with the Indian diplomatic corps over the alleged ill-treatment of former NY acting Indian consul Devyani Khobragade.

The request from Sessions came as Bharara's office is prosecuting former associates of Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in a bribery case.

Bharara's office convicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate majority leader Dean Skelos of corruption in separate trials past year.