Preet Bharara: not quite the knight in shining armor...

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You want to keep your eye on the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York regardless of who holds the position. Today, the news is everywhere that President Trump asked the office's present occupant, Preet Bharara, to resign and at least earlier today, Bharara was refusing. Bharara did Harvard Law and has made quite a name for himself by avoiding the prosecution of any of the Masters of the Universe who caused the Great Recession while making a big splash by taking down lots of other financial criminals as well as statehouse guys like Sheldon Silver. Bharara has long been known to have in his sights what he refers to as the "three-men-in-the-room" governance he says dominates New York's statehouse.

The hate-Trump-always media are hissy-fitting over President Trump asking for the resignations of 46 U.S. Attorneys who served under President Obama. They don't mention President Clinton cleaned house on all the U.S. Attorneys himself, nor that Bharara is best-buds with Charlie Schumer... 

nor that all the Trump-haters have been giggling with excitement over the prospect of Bharara using his office to investigate and prosecute anything and everything he can come up with against our President, nor that Bharara is an Obama appointee.

Instead, the media is burnishing Bharara's image as a high-minded crusader for all that is true and righteous and just, and that President Trump wants him gone because of his awesome integrity.

Which reminded me that a couple months ago I read this profile of Bharara that ran in the liberal rag, The Nation. Readers might like to see what they said back about Bharara before the President requested his resignation:

...beyond Bharara’s high-mindedness and toughness lies a prosecutor at a crossroads: Not only is Bharara, like Obama, probably reaching the end of his time in office (a new president generally likes to have his or her own appointee in such an important seat), but he is also, for the first time, beset by a spate of recent judicial challenges, rulings, and setbacks that have many questioning whether he has veered into overly aggressive behavior. These include an appeals-court reversal of two major insider-trading convictions—a ruling that has tarnished his extraordinary record of prosecuting insider trading and now threatens many of the other convictions as well—and a lawsuit connected to those reversals, which alleges that Bharara and his fellow prosecutors obtained a search warrant under false pretenses that led to the dissolution of a hedge fund because of the negative publicity that inevitably resulted. Both cases raise the specter of whether a powerful prosecutor has overstepped his bounds.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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