Should We Care About Preet Bharara’s Dismissal?


Preet Bharara is not a man who goes quietly.

In his 7-year tenure as a U.S. Attorney, Mr. Bharara has earned a reputation for bipartisanship and, according to some accounts, fearlessness. Whether it was in the investigation of the campaign finances of Chuck Schumer, by whom he had been previously employed and who had recommended him for the position of U.S. Attorney, or his prosecution of JP Morgan and SAC Capital, he has cemented himself as a legal force in New York.

So, it showed some political savvy when then President-elect Trump asked Bharara to retain his post in the new administration at a meeting in Trump Tower last November.

However, all that changed last week when the Justice Department demanded the resignation of 46 U.S. Attorneys, Mr. Bharara included. When he refused to resign, he was dismissed. In a tweet from an account he started 8 days prior, Bharara said “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired.”

The resulting media firestorm has produced many theories about the dismissal – most of which seem to skew towards the notion that Bharara was either about to begin investigating Trump or a close associate, or that he had already found something incriminating about the President’s former business activities.

Such claims are unfounded, and because I do not share the President’s fondness for spreading claims with no backing, I think it is fair to dismiss these out of hand. However, the fact remains that a man who was publicly promised his job has lost it, and by all accounts, that man was very good at said job.

Why? And what does this say about the current administration?