It emerged on Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was seeking the resignations of 46 USA attorneys who served under the leadership of Barack Obama.
While this isn't exactly unheard of when the new Commander-In-Chief comes in and cleans up house of anything left behind by the former resident, the remaining Attorney's were surprised to hear about the mass resignations via the media before being told in person.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of NY was sacked by the Trump administration Saturday, hours after defying a request from the Justice Department to resign.
Mr Bharara was first asked to remain in his post by President Donald Trump, when they met after the election.
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During the Clinton administration, former Attorney General Janet Reno sought the resignations of the USA attorneys appointed by former President George H.W. Bush in 1993, when Sessions was the US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.
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Tim Purdon, a former US attorney for North Dakota in the Obama administration, recalled that Obama permitted Bush appointees to remain on until their successors had been appointed and confirmed.
But such resignations are not automatic, and it isn't unusual for a US attorney to stay on through a new administration. "Moments ago I was sacked".
Mr. Bharara was responsible for several large districts in NY, including Trump's longtime borough of Manhattan, Westchester, the Bronx, and more. Bharara worked for Comey when he was USA attorney in Manhattan under President George W. Bush.
Time magazine famously lauded Bharara on its cover as the man who is "busting Wall Street", after he handled a string of high-profile corruption and white-collar criminal cases.
He added that being the US Attorney for New York Southern District would forever be "the greatest honor" of his professional life. He told reporters in November that he had been asked by Mr Trump to stay on, and had agreed.
His office is now investigating allegations that Mayor de Blasio's office performed favors for campaign donors, as well as a case against a top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Montana's US Attorney Mike Cotter said he received a phone call from Acting Attorney General Dana Boente telling him "the president has directed this".