New York attorney Preet Bharara refused President Trump directive to resign

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| New York, US | 12 March 2017 | Asia Samachar | 
PREET BHARARA: New York attorney general who refused to resign when asked by President Donald Trump – PHOTO / TWEETER

Preet Bharara, son of a Sikh physician whose family to the Indian side of Punjab after the India-Pakistan partition before migrating to the US, is once again in the eye of a storm.

The 48-year old lawyer refused to resign as the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, one of the 46 attorneys to get the marching orders from President Donald Trump.

“I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life,” he tweeted Saturday.

The drama included an attempt by the President, through his assistant, to call Bharara on Thursday and left a voice mail, according to CNN, quoting unnamed sources. Bharara then notified Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff about the call, saying he wasn’t going to talk to Trump, the source said; there are rules against sitting US attorneys talking to the President.

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Preet was on the cover of the May 2016 issue of the New Yorker, headlined ‘The Showman: How U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara struck fear into Wall Street and Albany’. See here.

The graduate of Columbia Law School runs one of the largest and most respected offices of federal prosecutors in the country.

“Under his leadership, the office has charged dozens of Wall Street figures with insider trading, and has upended the politics of New York State, by convicting the leaders of both houses of the state legislature,” the New Yorker observed.

On his background, the report said he had spent several years at private firms, and then, from 2000 to 2005, serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, in Manhattan.

On leaving his A.U.S.A. post, he made an unusual choice for a promising young lawyer. Instead of becoming a partner at a law firm, he went to Washington to work for Senator Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat. Schumer chaired the Judiciary Committee’s oversight subcommittee, and Bharara was the top aide on his staff. He organised hearings and prepared Schumer for conducting them. Schumer is famous for cultivating media attention, and his aides are responsible for making sure that he gets it.

Less than two years later, when Barack Obama was elected President, Schumer recommended that he nominate Bharara as the United States Attorney for the Southern District, it added. Bharara was forty, and he brought a media-friendly approach to what has historically been a closed and guarded institution.

On his family, the article notes:

Bharara’s family history is unusual for someone in his position. His parents were born in what is now Pakistan, before it separated from India. His father, Jagdish, is a Sikh and his mother, Desh, a Hindu, so their families joined the great migration to India. “My father is one of thirteen, my mother’s one of seven, and that doesn’t count siblings who didn’t make it for very long,” he told me. The family eventually settled in Firozpur, in Punjab, where Jagdish, a physician, was assigned to the Indian railway system. Shortly after Preet was born there, in 1968, Jagdish received a fellowship to practice medicine in Buffalo. “My mother had never seen snow,” he said.

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]

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