President Trump Fires Holdover Prosecutors


The New York Times

High-profile prosecuter, Preet Bharara, has been fired

On Saturday March 11., Preet Bharara the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, took to Twitter to announce that he was fired from his position by President Trump. This happened following the Trump Administration’s order to the remaining 46 Obama-appointed prosecutors, at the Department of Justice to tender their resignations. Bharara refused to resign, feeling blindsided by the request, and was later fired by the Administration. Most of the United States Attorneys that had been appointed by the previous administration had already resigned willingly. The 46 remaining holdover prosecutors acted upon the Administration’s order, but Bharara refused.  The abrupt firings were a shock to most, especially Bharara who was previously asked by Trump and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to keep his position.

“I believe it is vital for a president to be able to elect officials of his own party into office because he would not be able to effectively [govern] otherwise. Presidents should be able to appoint members of their own party into office because the president should reflect the will of the people. Because of this, the President was correct in firing the attorneys, although he should have given notice and not have done it so abruptly,” sophomore Mauricio Cervantes said

The Department of Justice has lost one of its highest-profile prosecutors. Preet Bharara and his office have prosecuted dozens of top police officials like the leader of the city correction officer’s union. Bharara’s work has led him to become the most celebrated federal prosecutors, and gave him the support of high-ranking government officials including: President Obama and New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

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While I understand the President wanting attorneys at the [Department of Justice] to be people who will support his Administration’s views, I think that diversity of opinion is important…and I think that the way he abruptly fired the attorneys is dangerous to the justice system.

— freshman Andrea Adesso

It is possible that the Trump Administration’s change of heart resulted from Bharara’s relationship with Schumer, who currently leads the Democratic opposition in the Senate. According to CNN, a source close to the President reported that Trump wished to keep Bharara as a gesture to Schumer, whom Trump had previously supported. Schumer’s opposition counters the President’s agenda, which may be why Trump decided to fire him as well.  Schumer, in a statement, said “the President is interrupting ongoing cases and investigations and hindering the administration of justice” by taking action so abruptly.  Senate Judiciary member, Patrick Leahy, backed Schumer, stated that this order is “another reminder that the independence of the Justice Department is at risk under this administration”.  Many other Senators and Representatives worry about the effects that the abrupt nature of this action will have on the judiciary system and ongoing cases.