As U.S. Attorney, his office successfully tried 85 insider trading cases before losing its first in 2014. Bharara’s office reached major settlements with big banks including Citibank and JPMorgan Chase.
NEW YORK – The Manhattan federal prosecutor fired by President Trump said Wednesday he believes the commander-in-chief eventually would have asked him to do “something inappropriate.”
Preet Bharara described a series of unusual interactions with Trump before he was fired as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in March. He said they were so unprecedented he considered but decided against recording a conversation with the president that ultimately never took place. In an account of his controversial firing in his new weekly podcast, Bharara described how he repeatedly flagged to Justice Department officials the impropriety of a president calling him directly.
While Bharara said Trump seemed to be calling to simply “chit-chat,” he also voices concern about what would have happened if he kept his job.
“Had I not been fired, and had Donald Trump continued to cultivate a direct personal relationship with me, it’s my strong belief, that at some point, given the history, the president of the United States would have asked me to do something inappropriate, and I would have resigned then,” said Bharara. “I don’t know that for a fact. But that’s my strong belief.”
Bharara offered the most extensive public account yet of his firing in the first episode of “Stay Tuned with Preet.”
In a podcast installment aptly titled “That Time President Trump Fired Me,” the 48-year-old attorney said he did not know the exact reason for his dismissal.
Yet Bharara’s account offers a window into the way he said Trump — who is under investigation by a special counsel for possible obstruction of justice — has approached relationships with senior law enforcement officials.