- Updated story: 'Moments Ago, I Was Fired,' Preet Tweets After Standoff With Trump
- Related: Preet Bharara May Force Standoff With Trump Over Resignation Order
Westchester resident Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York who became nationally known for prosecuting high-profile suspects from insider traders to diplomats to drug dealers, was among the 46 U.S. attorneys that were ordered to resign by President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday afternoon.
In an attempt to continue clearing house from the Obama era, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the 46 attorneys - who were hired during Obama’s time in office - to step down from their positions, a development first reported by The New York Times . The firings reportedly came without advance warning.
The order for the 48-year-old Bharara comes as a shock to many, after he was personally approached and asked to retain his position by Trump during his transition to the top office in a November meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Bharara has made quite the name for himself since taking office in 2009, targeting big names such as former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, J.P. Morgan Chase and the Big Money Bosses, when he charged 120 gang members with various offenses, ending a nine-year run in the Bronx. He has also investigated Mayor Bill de Blasio and Trump himself.
Bharara could not immediately be reached for a statement late on Friday afternoon.
“As was the case in prior transitions, many of the United States Attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice,” a Justice Department spokeswoman said in a statement. “The Attorney General has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition.”
“Until the new U.S. Attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. Attorney’s Offices will continue the great work of the Department in investigating, prosecuting, and deterring the most violent offenders.”
Obama nominated Bharara to become the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on May 15, 2009. His nomination was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 7, 2009, and he was sworn in on Aug. 13, 2009.
Trump, who owns the $19.5 million Seven Springs estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor.
The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.