Prosecutor was making strides
Anyone concerned with corruption in New York state government can’t be happy that Preet Bharara has been fired by President Donald Trump.
For all of the talk about ethics reform emanating from the state capitol over the past several years, it was Bharara — not any law or regulation approved by the state Legislature — who put the most heat on wrongdoers like Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos in Albany. Bharara has in recent years gone after over a dozen state officeholders, and Bharara’s office is currently prosecuting former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a bribery case. Also, prosecutors recently interviewed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as part of a probe into his fundraising.
It’s customary for the 93 U.S. attorneys to leave their posts when a new president takes office, and the president is well within his right to appoint his own slate of U.S. attorneys. What made Bharara’s requested resignation and subsequent firing surprising was that Bharara had been asked to stay on, at least temporarily, following a meeting with then President-elect Trump in November; and Bharara was still leading his staff in cases against Silver and Skelos while other investigations were continuing.
President Trump said he wanted to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C. Right now, it appears he fired the one person capable of draining the swamp in Albany.