Facing mounting calls from ethics groups demanding the Justice Department investigate Donald Trump’s numerous scandals, the ‘mafia-style’ administration on Friday abruptly asked all U.S. Attorneys appointed by former president Barack Obama to resign.
But when New York’s U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara refused to submit his resignation, Trump fired him on Saturday.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, questioned on Sunday President Donald Trump’s motives in firing U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, suggesting that he might have been acting in his own self-interest to stop a potential corruption investigation.
The dismissal of Bharara, who represents the powerful southern district of New York, was especially surprising, however, because in November, Trump had said he would like him to stay on.
“Just not very long ago, the president was saying that he was going to keep the U.S. attorney there in New York. And then, suddenly, he’s, I guess, changed his mind. I’m just curious as to why that is,” Cummings said. “And certainly, there’s a lot of questions coming up as to whether Mr. Trump is – President Trump is concerned about the jurisdiction of this U.S. attorney and whether that might affect his future.”
A group of ethics watchdogs sent Bharara a letter recently, asking him to investigate Trump’s conflicts of interest:
Democracy 21, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the Campaign Legal Center request that you undertake an investigation to determine if the Trump Organization LLC, the Trump Organization, Inc., and any related Trump businesses based in the Southern District of New York are receiving payments and financial benefits from foreign governments that benefit President Donald Trump and that do not comply with Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, the “Foreign Emoluments Clause.”
Cummings said Sunday that he believed there could be “a connection between this call for an investigation and Trump’s decision to get rid of Bharara, who is known as an aggressive prosecutor.”
“When they asked about emoluments clause and possible violations of it and the U.S. attorney’s relationship to that, I think perhaps that had perhaps something to do with it,” Cummings said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also suggested on Twitter that there were political reasons for Trump’s removal of Bharara.
There’s no question Trump is trying to create a corrupt Department Of Justice Department. That is the only way he can escape criminal prosecution.