US Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked the 46 attorneys including Indian-American attorney Preet Bharara appointed by former US President Barack Obama to submit their resignation.
In all there are 93 attorneys. Many of them had resigned at the beginning of the Trump administration but the remaining 46 who stayed on in the first weeks of the Trump administration has now asked to resign.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isur Flores confirmed it yesterday that the US Attorney General asked them to resign “in order to ensure a uniform transition”.
According to the Hill magazine, Flores said, “As was the case in prior transitions, many of the US Attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice.”
Flores defending the move and said both the George W Bush and Bill Clinton administrations made similar requests at the beginning of their term.
Bharara’s resignation was surprising as on November 30 he met with Trump in Trump Tower. He said to the reporters they had a “good meeting” and Trump had agreed to stay on.
In 2009, he was appointed by Obama administration and earned the reputation of “crusader” prosecutor.
Bharara during his term did a commendable job. He handled many high-profile cases and investigations including foreign countries, insider trading. Under his prosecution India-born former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was convicted for insider trading in 2012.
New York Senator Charles Schumer said, “The President initiated a call to me in November and assured me he wanted Bharara to continue to serve as US Attorney for the Southern District. By asking for the immediate resignation of every remaining US Attorney before their replacements have been confirmed or even nominated, the President is interrupting ongoing cases and investigations and hindering the administration of justice.”
After, all the resignations will be submitted, it would be Trump’s decision on whether to accept all of them.
The Justice Department said, “Until the new US Attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our US Attorney’s Offices will continue the great work of the Department in investigating, prosecuting and deterring the most violent offenders.”