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Trump’s Latest Move Confirms He Wants a Corrupt DOJ To Escape Prosecution

It is typical for new administration’s to wipe the slate clean of U.S. attorneys after entering office. Former President Barack Obama did so on a rolling basis, allowing Bush appointees to stay on until their successors were confirmed. But the way Donald Trump is going about it is raising eyebrows.

On Friday, the Trump administration asked the nation’s 46 federal prosecutors appointed by Obama to resign. The announcement struck observers as both blunt and abrupt.

And today, Trump personally fired Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and one of the most high-profile federal prosecutors in the country, after refusing to resign his post.

Bharara is known for being tough on corruption cases. Maybe that explains Trump’s fear of keeping him on the high-profile post.

However, the move came as a surprise for Bharara, who said in November that Trump had asked him to stay on.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.  |  Getty images

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. | Getty images

“The president-elect asked, presumably because he’s a New Yorker and is aware of the great work that our office has done over the past seven years, asked to meet with me to discuss whether or not I’d be prepared to stay on as the United States attorney to do the work as we have done it, independently, without fear or favor for the last seven years,” Bharara said in November. “We had a good meeting. I said I would absolutely consider staying on. I agreed to stay on.”

Though it is within his power to dismiss Bharara, doing so at this juncture contains political peril for Trump, to the extent that it suggests he’s immunizing himself from potential investigations. The Southern District of New York ― Bharara’s jurisdiction ― includes Trump Towers, the home and office of Trump and the headquarters of his presidential campaign.

Trump’s request for Bharara’s resignation and his potential firing troubled Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“I’m troubled to learn of reports of requests for resignations from the remaining U.S. Attorneys, particularly that of Preet Bharara, after the President initiated a call to me in November and assured me he wanted Mr. Bharara to continue to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District,” Schumer said in a statement.

For observers, however, one thing is becoming clear: president Trump is on a quest to create a “friendly” Justice Department, corrupted enough to turn a blind eye every time he breaks the law.

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